Spiritualism quickly spread to the UK, where the Spiritualist movement began in Yorkshire - at Keighley in 1853. In that year Mr David Richmond of the Shakers Movement of America brought news of spiritual phenomena to Mr David Weatherhead of Keighley. In June 1853 three lectures were held at the Working Men's Hall in Keighley. These were given by David Richmond assisted by David Weatherhead. Thereafter Keighley was the first town to have a Spiritualist society. Spiritualism quickly spread to all regions of the UK, and many more local societies were formed.

In 1871, through the mediumship of Emma Hardinge Britten, the spirit of Robert Owen communicated five basic and fundamental principles of Spiritualism.

The first Spiritualist organisation in the UK was the Spiritualist Association of Great Britain, (SAGB), formed in 1872 by a group of Spiritualists, who first met in Marylebone. They called themselves "The Marylebone Spiritualist Association". The name was changed to the Spiritualist Association of Great Britain in 1960.

Attempts were made to bring together the various individuals, Spiritualist churches, groups and societies in the whole of the UK, and the concept of a national federation of Spiritualist churches was discussed and written about in 1889 by Emma Hardinge Britten in the ‘Two Worlds’ magazine, which she had founded in 1887. Emma arranged many meetings and in July 1890 the first national conference of Spiritualists was held in Manchester. At this Conference Emma advocated her five principles as the basis of Spiritualist philosophy, which later became the Seven Principles of SNU Spiritualism. Other resolutions were carried unanimously establishing a "Spiritualists' National Federation". This changed its name to "The Spiritualists' National Union" in October 1901, when the Spiritualists National Union Limited (SNU), was incorporated under the Companies Act. The primary objectives of the SNU was "to promote the advancement and diffusion of a knowledge of the religion and religious philosophy of Spiritualism on the basis of the Seven Principles".

During The First World War, the SNU was responsible for organising memorial services for the war dead, along with campaigning for government recognition for Spiritualism as a religion. This was not achieved until 1951 with the passing of 'The Fraudulent Mediums' Act'. In 1964 the SNU was given a permanent home by J. Arthur Findlay who was a wealthy Spiritualist, and author of "The Curse of Ignorance" and "The Rock of Truth", when he bequeathed Stanstead Hall to them, "to be used as a college for the advancement of psychic science", which it remains to this day.

Share this post

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to Twitter