From Church Secretary, Gillian Grimson:
Firstly may I take this opportunity to offer you all the very Best Wishes for a Healthy and Happy 2021.
The year has not started as we would have wished, but we all now have to play our part during this Lockdown as we wait for our turn for the vaccination to hopefully gain control over the Covid 19 virus.
Sadly of course this means the church remains closed. I know that the Lockdown restrictions in England allow for churches to be open with Covid safe conditions, but at this stage with the variant of the virus making it so much more transmittable we cannot take the risk of opening yet. We have come this far keeping all of us as safe as possible, it would be wrong to take risks now. I am sorry we are not able to offer to open the church for people to drop in for private prayer if and when they may wish to, but as Spiritualists we know we don’t have to be in a special building to make contact with our God or our Spirit Friends.
We have continued to offer Healing each Wednesday afternoon when all members of our healing team join together at the same time in our individual homes to send out Absent Healing to our regular patients and to the many who have joined our list over the last 10 months, so as I said we don’t have to be in a particular building to connect with Spirit.
January is the month we renew our membership of the church and I hope you will wish to renew your membership despite not having access to the church this last 9 months.
During the Lockdown months we have had many expenses. We have had to maintain the building, pay the Insurance which is £650, and we have had the wall at the front of the church rebuilt, the door to the Ladies toilet has been replaced and the flooring in both the toilets renewed. We also had to have the part of the ceiling in the church re-plastered as some of it had peeled off and “snowed” on the carpet. We also have to keep a low level of heating on to keep the building in a safe state. We are also still required to have our fire extinguishers checked and the boiler serviced.
The church has had to cover all these costs with NO INCOME. No freewill offerings, no donations for healing, no payments for circles or workshops, no ability to hold Special Events or Open Days to raise money but we still have financial outgoings. We have had a very small number of donations from a few members partially in lieu of what they would possibly have put on the plate throughout the year had the church been open.
I really do hope you care enough about your church that you will renew your membership, and pay the £8.00 subscription and thus retain your right to vote for your committee and also give that financial support to your church and remain part of the church family.
At present the Rules for Churches Rule 21 para 4 states that subscriptions must be paid in person by the member or their spouse or personal partner, but I have spoken to Minister David Bruton, President of the Spiritualists National Union, and he informed me that the Union has given dispensation this year that renewal subscriptions can be sent rather than paid in person and that the rule will be removed in the next issue of the Rule book.
To renew your membership please send your cheque to me – please contact us for the address. Cheques to made payable to ”Westbury Park Spiritualist Church” Paper receipts will be available in the church when we reopen or will be sent out in the next letter I send to you, and those of you who have email addresses will get confirmation of receipt of your subscription when it arrives.
We are unable to set a date for the next AGM because of the uncertainty of the Covid 19 situation but we will be ready to move as soon as it is permissible and safe to do so. David Bruton also informed me that it is not permissible to hold an AGM within the churches via Zoom. The Union was able to hold the national AGM via Zoom because there is provision to do so within the constitution of the SNU but there is no provision for churches AGMs within Rules For Churches at present. Any Church AGMs held via Zoom will be null and void. The Union’s NEC will be discussing these issues at their next meeting which will be held in early February. I will keep you informed of any changes.
I look forward to hearing from you when you renew your membership enabling you to continue to be part of the family and community of Westbury Park Spiritualist Church.
With very best wishes