Open Letter – Let’s Remember Our Pioneers

Offered below is an Open Letter written by Gordon Higginson following his stroke at Torbay in April 1990 which was followed by a mini stroke.  It is a wonderful letter that demonstrates Gordon’s spirituality even in times of personal difficulty.  It is also includes an article written by Jean Bassett in which she writes about Gordon.  Gordon’s greatest fear following the stroke was that he would be unable to do his mediumship as it disappeared for a short while.  He was overjoyed when it returned and he was able to resume his demonstrations.


Shock waves reverberated not only within the SNU but the whole Spiritualist movement when it was announced a few months ago that Union President Gordon Higginson has suffered a stroke.  Thankfully, he is making a good recovery.

Despite his illness, Gordon still plans to attend the Union’s Annual General Meeting, which takes place in Manchester next weekend.

Gordon was also determined to send a special message to Spiritualists for this supplement.  In this beautifully worded open letter he asks that the “true spirit of love and friendship helps us to fulfil our spiritual destiny and receive instructions from the spirit world.”  Here is the letter in full:

“I am setting myself to write this letter to you on an evening that has turned stormy after a lovely day.  Great threatening clouds are rolling up.  There is thunder about; yes, a crash and a flash announces that the storm is come.  And yet this morning was fresh and sunny.

It is often like that with our British weather – and I think. it is often very much like that with life.  If by chance some storm has come to you, don’t forget that you have had a fine day.

Hundreds of people have been writing to me during these many weeks of my illness, reminding me of the love, happiness, healing and sunshine I had brought into their lives when they were passing through grief, pain and very troubled times.  They urged me to rest and prayed I would fully recover to continue my life’s work.  It helped me a lot to know there were so many friends who cared.

Their power, love and prayer has helped me tremendously to pass through a very dark and troubled period.  Storms must come whether we like them or not, but the important matter is what they leave behind them.

There is the story told by Jesus the prophet of two men who built their houses, one upon rock, the other upon the sands.  The storm came to both alike, the same wind blew upon them, the same floods rose about them.  The house built on the rock stood firm, the other, grounded on sand, was a wreck.  The moral is that we can only withstand the storms if we know where the firm foundation is.

My belief is knowing there is a God and a spirit world, and that there is a real purpose to life.  Spiritualism upholds you in your darkest hour.  I was devastated when the doctors diagnosed two minor strokes and warned me that a long period of rest and caring was necessary if I was to recover.  What a blow this was as president of the Spiritualists National Union, especially as it is our Centenary Year.

I had no idea how tired and exhausted I was until at Eric and Heather Hatton’s home, where I was nursed for three weeks, I slept at least 18 hours a day.

I can now look back and see that the storm had been threatening to break for quite a while to force me to rest.  I believe that it happened at the right time and in the right place, where I had the love of true and loyal friends.

You do not need me to tell you that many of the worst troubles and fears in life never arrive and we are foolish to anticipate them.  By the way, the thunderstorm which was raging outside when I began to write this letter has ceased.  Would you believe it, the sun is shining.

I hope and expect to be well enough to meet you all at our AGM in Manchester.  This year’s centenary AGM will be an opportunity afforded us to make secure a bridge of communication with the pioneers of the 1890s.  During our hours of conference, we will be conscious of those vibrations that make earth and heaven one.

I would ask every member of the SNU to unite in sending our eternal gratitude to those on the other side of life who constructed the platform on which our union is built, and who continue to help us to bring into being the strong vibrant world movement to withstand the tempests of time.

May the true spirit of love and friendship help us to fulfil our spiritual destiny and receive full instructions from the spirit world.  Then our work will be completed and our Centenary celebrations a resounding success.”


“Let us prove to Gordon Higginson that our spirit is with him and the union.”  So writes Jean Bassett, echoing Gordon’s plea that though he cannot attend all the centenary meetings, members should give their wholehearted support to all the special events planned for this year.

It is devastating that our President, Gordon Higginson, has been taken ill.  Anyone who has a relative who has suffered the aftermath of a stroke will know what he and those who are closest to him are going through right now.

For many years, we in the Union have taken for granted that Gordon will continue, not only as our leader, our president, but also as an indefatigable demonstrator throughout the length and breadth of this country.

In fairness, he is partly to blame: when does he ever say; “No!”?  There are few churches who have approached him and received a negative response.  But not many realise that he travels thousands of miles each year and seldom misses an official meeting, not just the ones where whole committees are assembled, but those in between where the union’s officers meet to conduct necessary SNU business.

It is heartening to know that Gordon has responded so well to treatment and healing that, apart from some physical effects which are being reduced from day to day, he is his old self.

Our Vice-President Eric and his delightful wife Heather have been effective in that direction.  It was their attention and love which saw Gordon through those first difficult weeks.  Thank God we will see Gordon at our AGM, and “Please God” for many more meetings in the future.

Gordon has asked that all members should rally to their religion, to support district meetings wherever possible, to show the strength that is the basis of our Union, to the support of the people for an ideal, and not just for one worker.

We, who look on, know he has such charisma that many would; attend a meeting just because he is there.  Gordon wants more than that.  He wants to know that we; the members, will realise that districts who have decided to go on with their meetings are recognising the importance of this year to our movement.

It is our centenary.  Our celebration of triumph.  Triumph over adversity, prejudice, lack of funds; triumph of the people, the members.

It is hard for us to know that our Ieader cannot physically be with us at this time, but his spirit is not in doubt: that is with us at each meeting we attend.  Let us then prove to Gordon that our spirit is with him and the union.

He, our leader, has worked hard and long.  Now it is our turn to take the lead.  We may .not be able to do the work he has done, but our support and loyalty are ours to give.

Let us then give – and forget to count the cost!  Support your district and your union!

Source: Psychic News, July 7th 1990


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