This article was written by Gordon Higginson in the run up to the SNU Centenary which took place in 1990. Gordon shares his story whilst stressing the importance of Spiritualism as a religion. At the time, Gordon was the longest-serving President of the Spiritualists National Union.
LETS EXPAND OUR RELIGION BY GORDON HIGGINSON
“It is many years since I first started work as a medium. It seemed very simple in those days. I had an ability and a very good teacher to oversee my development. My mother was a wonderful medium. Indeed I think she was one of the best I have ever known. She had very high standards and made me work very hard; she demanded perfection, not necessarily in the results, but in the effort to achieve perfection. I doubt that I would have succeeded in the way I have without her for mediumship is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline.
I believe there are a lot of young people today who have started and who are carrying it through. I think this is one of the changes we shall see over the next few years. I also think that the mediums of the future, the great mediums, will begin working as young people and make it their life work as I have done.
My life has not always been easy. I have had to face many difficulties but believe I could not have been a medium and the SNU’s President if I had not had to face those difficulties.
There have been the temptations to make large sums of money through my mediumship. I was once offered £1.000 for a single sitting. I refused. not because I dislike money for I like all the nice things in life. That was the problem. If I had taken that large payment, I might have been tempted to do it again and perhaps again. I could have ended up working for the wrong reasons.
So you see, it is important that you have trust otherwise these temptations could be very difficult. All mediums should respect their ability. It is right they have enough to be comfortable, but not that they should become greedy. I have always felt that way.
I was always a member of the SNU, first through my church at Longton. I was one of the youngest members of the Lyceum there and went on automatically to become a church member and then a Class B member. I was not really interested in the administration. I felt I had been blessed with remarkable capabilities as a medium, that it was my duty to expand these and to work hard to improve as a medium so I could help people.
I gave my first public demonstration when I was 12. This was at Longton. By the time I was 15, I was working all around that area. Apart from Billy Redmond I am the only one left who is still working who has demonstrated with all the great mediums of this century.
I have never worked abroad, even though I have had many offers. But I always felt my place was in this country. I put all my trust in the union and in churches here. This seemed the right thing to do, that I was doing what Spirit wanted me to do.
People used to ask me to stand for various positions, but I always said “No.” I attended all the meetings, of course. I always believed in the Union. It seemed right to me.
You see, you can’t have interfaith; it doesn’t really work. You can’t be really committed to two religions. Spiritualism is a separate entity from everything else. It has to be that way.
Spiritualism is a word on its own; it belongs to no other movement. You will not find the Hindu converting a Christian nor a Muslim. Spiritualism has something to offer all other religions.
The boundaries of the world are shrinking. We have, during the last few years, entered the European Community. Races can no longer live in separation, either economically or religiously. Just look at all the different religions in our country now. We have to live together. And with Spiritualism, we can learn to make that a harmonious adventure of spirituality.
I am sure that the centenary celebration is inspired, particularly our rally at Wembley. Since we have not seen such a meeting for many years, I am pleased to hear it is being so well supported by members all over the country.
We are in the process of change in all things. Our religion is a living organism; we change and grow.
I have always felt that Spiritualism is important to humanity, that the Union is the reality of Spiritualism.
When I accepted office for the first time it was because the Union was going through a very bad patch, both financially and otherwise. I did not want to become president. I felt I had other work that was more important. But Spirit went to great length to persuade me otherwise. They knew, you see, that I was needed.
We pulled together – and gradually matters improved. We are still not out of the wood. The Union is stronger now, but there are different difficulties to face. The next year must be a time of consolidation, or resolution and rededication.
The future must be built on the past. Our pioneers visualised a religion which could change the nature of the world. They recognised the need for every man to know equality and saw that this must come through education.
I have always felt that Stansted Hall was very important. It must come to be a real centre for learning. For many years it was a tremendous burden of debt to the union. Now, for the first time, it is self-supporting and we must work to keep it that way. We are already increasing the weeks when Spiritualist activity and education are a priority. Young people and older alike want to learn. We will offer that opportunity.
Spiritualism is too important for us to neglect, to sell short. In this coming year, I am calling on all our loyal members to put even more effort into their work. I am asking them to support our national and district meetings; I am asking each individual and church and district to give to our new fund.
In this way, we will be able to promote, propagate, improve and expand our religion according to its worth. There can be no better cause; it is surely spirit inspired. We must not waste this chance. We must use it for our future.”
From: Psychic News, 11th November 1989