Bromsgrove's Dedication

Outside Bromsgrove Spiritualist Church
Outside Bromsgrove Spiritualist Church
Original Church rostrum
Original Church rostrum

January 5th saw the dedication of Bromsgrove Spiritualist Church. Back in the 1960s three friends, Jo Hewitt, Rene Crane and Nan Evesom, met for regular meditation sessions. They had visited a number of Spiritualist Churches and found their evidence of survival.

One evening Nan wrote to the Psychic News to tell them that Bromsgrove was a town twenty-one miles from Birmingham and nine miles from Stourbridge. At this stage there was no intention of starting a church. However, the letter was passed on to the Spiritualists' National Union, which phoned them and put them in touch with officials of the West Midlands District Council, who gave them details on how they should start a church.

As a result of this meeting an advertisement was placed in the 'Bromsgrove Messenger' asking any interested people to contact Nan. Six people contacted her and with her friends they formed a committee. This group were instructed on how to run a church and in 1965 a propaganda meeting was held at the Rural District Council Chamber with Gordon Higginson taking the meeting. Then they opened in a room above the local Co-op. Mediums were booked and that was the start of Bromsgrove Church.    

As time went on the church affiliated to the SNU and the members started to save money with the aim of purchasing their own building. They started looking for a suitable building for a new church. A redundant telephone exchange came on the market, which would have been ideal for a church. The only problem was that the local district council would not give planning permission for its use as a church. Then last year a redundant chapel from an independent Christian group came on the market and was put out to tender.

Bromsgrove Church offered £70,000, which was accepted. There were other groups interested in purchasing the chapel - the Church of England, Christadelphians and another Spiritualist group. It's not very often that Spiritualists can outbid the more established churches. Bromsgrove has been helped with the purchase by obtaining an advance from the SNU Trust.

As the new building had been built for use as a church it was an ideal purchase. It was found to be in good condition, so very little has had to be spent on the fabric. One of the interesting features of the church is the small pipe-organ situated at the centre of the platform, with the front pipes picked out in gold, blue and white. So Bromsgrove is now one of the small band of Spiritualist Churches in the U.K. that has a real pipe-organ, the king of instruments.

It now falls to Bromsgrove's members and Committee to keep the flag of Spiritualism flying in this new centre. They hold the responsibility of putting over our message and keeping this building in good repair.