The Spiritualists' National Union currently represents nearly 400 Spiritualist Churches and Societies, and many thousands of individual Spiritualists. It is one of the oldest and certainly the largest Spiritualist organisation in the world today.
The pioneers of Spiritualism in the UK during the later ½ of the nineteenth century decided that they needed to form a national body to represent Spiritualism. They held a number of National Conferences in Darlington, Newcastle, Liverpool and London, all with the intention of establishing such an organisation, but these had proved unsuccessful. The idea of a National Federation of Spiritualist Churches had been the subject of several articles written by Mrs Britten (picture on left) in Two Worlds in late 1889 and early 1890, and at her instance a meeting of interested Spiritualists was convened in Manchester with a view to discussing plans for the formation of an organisation which would unite the Spiritualist churches throughout the country. Following a favourable response from these to a circular the Inaugural Conference of the Spiritualists’ National Federation was held on the first Sunday in July 1890 in the Co-operative Hall, Ardwick, Manchester.
At first the Federation was little more than a movable annual conference at which delegates from Spiritualist societies and individual Spiritualists could discuss problems of common interest. As a result of these conferences it became clear that the field of co-operation could be widened if the Federation obtained the legal status of a corporation which could hold real property. Accordingly, in October 1901 the Spiritualists’ National Union Limited was incorporated under the Companies Acts as a company not for profit and limited by guarantee, and in July 1902 it succeeded to, and took over the property, rights and obligations of, the Spiritualists’ National Federation.
For the purpose of providing a definition of Spiritualism and Spiritualist for incorporation in the Memorandum of Association of the new company the framers of the Union’s constitution in 1901 adapted the Principles given through Mrs Britten’s mediumship and so established the following unalterable Seven Principles of Spiritualism as the basis of the religion and religious philosophy of the Spiritualists’ National Union:
1. The Fatherhood of God.
2. The Brotherhood of Man.
3. The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels.
4. The continuous existence of the human soul.
5. Personal responsibility.
6. Compensation and retribution hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on earth.
7. Eternal progress open to every human soul.
The primary object of the Spiritualists’ National Union is to promote the advancement and diffusion of a knowledge of the religion and religious philosophy of Spiritualism on the basis of the Seven Principles.
It aims to unite Spiritualist societies and churches into a Spiritualist brotherhood and to secure for them full recognition as religious bodies. Other objects specified in the Memorandum of Association include the encouragement of Spiritualist research, the certification and appointment of Ministers, lecturers, exponents and teachers, the publication and distribution of Spiritualist literature and the promotion of mission work.
Mission Statement and Goals
In 2000 the SNU adopted the following mission statement:
To Promote the Religion and Religious Philosophy of Spiritualism as based upon The Seven Principles
It also re-defined its goals as:
To procure perfect religious equality
To assist in the formation of new Societies and Churches
To strengthen the fraternal relations between Spiritualists
To increase all classes of membership
To print, publish and distribute literature
To promote mission work
To do all such lawful things as are for the advancement of Spiritualism
If you would like more information about the SNU please visit The SNU Website.