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Union issues guidance on coronavirus
DAVID R. BRUTON: “We have emphasised the need to utilise hand sanitisers and hand washing facilities at all of our services.”

DAVID R. BRUTON: “We have emphasised the need
to utilise hand sanitisers and
hand washing
facilities at all of our services.”

On a worldwide basis, so far tens of thousands of people have caught the coronavirus, although the vast majority make a full recovery. At the time of going to press, it has caused the passing of 71 people living in the UK, although this figure is likely to rise.

Below is a statement issued by Minister David R. Bruton, President of the Spiritualists’ National Union (SNU), who outlines the steps it is taking to keep its churches, colleges, students and staff as safe as possible.

IT was only a few months ago that a new strain of virus was reported in China. Since then, the coronavirus has spread around the world infecting many thousands of people and killing over 3,500 elderly and vulnerable individuals.

At the time of writing, the World Health Organisation has yet to declare the virus a pandemic, but this may well occur before too long.

The SNU is the world’s largest Spiritualist organisation. As such, we recognise that we have a tremendous responsibility to do all we can to keep our members, congregations and students safe, and supported with current information and guidance.

Over the last few weeks, we have carefully monitored the developing situation.

With over 300 churches in the UK, centres around the world and our two colleges – the Arthur Findlay College and the Barbanell Centre – many look to us for guidance on a range of matters which directly affect the running of their churches and centres.

Throughout the year, the Arthur Findlay College at Stansted Hall in Essex welcomes students from around the globe, so we have invested a great deal of time and resources in an effort to protect the college, our staff and students.

We take this responsibility very seriously indeed. Led by Tanya Smith, the management at the college has developed detailed policies and procedures.

Drawing on information issued by the British government and other agencies, they are monitoring the fast-changing situation on an almost hour-by-hour basis to provide us with an accurate and up-to-date picture as events unfold.

Our cleaning procedures at the college have been increased to ensure that they are robust enough to manage the health and safety of students and staff alike.

In an effort to provide the necessary information to make their own decisions regarding the management of services and events, we have already issued written guidance to all our churches and promoted this via our website and social media.

stock art showing coronavirus spreading

Based on government information, at the time of writing, all SNU churches are able to continue to operate as normal.

In doing so, we have emphasised the need to utilise hand sanitisers and hand washing facilities at all of our services, and especially healing services when contact healing is being practised.

This advice will be reviewed on a daily basis. Should the need arise to close churches, the union will advise every church committee and publicise this through its normal media channels.

Last month, we took the decision to cancel Italian Week at the Arthur Findlay College, which was due to run from March 14.

Italian Weeks one and two are amongst our most popular and successful courses. We did not come to this decision lightly, but we always have to make the safety of our staff and students our highest priority.

Given that many of the students were flying to the UK from northern Italy, we simply could not take the risk.

Added to that, due to the evolving situation regarding air travel, there was a strong possibility that following the course many students might not have been able to find flights home, so we felt it best for all concerned to take this decision for the greater good of everyone.

We are aware that much fear seems to have been stirred up by the tabloid media in the UK. Our action to provide information and support to all of our churches and centres is aimed at promoting evidence-based and effective decision-making.

Any committee that takes the decision to close its church is totally within its right to do so and has the full support of the union in this matter. People have caught the virus in various parts of the country, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

MANAGEMENT at the Arthur Findlay College “are monitoring the fast-changing situation on an almost hour-by-hour basis.”

MANAGEMENT at the Arthur Findlay College
“are monitoring the fast-changing situation
on an almost hour-by-hour basis.”


Should any church or student need further information, please check out our websites, which will be updated on a daily basis if necessary. These can be found at:

Spiritualists’ National Union:


Arthur Findlay College: 

Barbanell Centre:


UK government information:

Authorities around the globe are working hard to contain this outbreak. It is worth noting that most people who contract the coronavirus make a full recovery after what is described as “a mild illness.”

However, the effective control of the situation can only be achieved if we take sensible action based on the facts and adopt a balanced approach to try and protect the population.

Our thoughts go out to every family that has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and especially to those who have lost loved ones. Healing is a very powerful tool in our armoury and we recognise that absent healing can help in so many ways.

I am sure that a calm approach in proportion to the facts will help humanity to overcome this virus.

Experts in various parts of the world are making tremendous steps in developing a vaccine to protect us, and I hope it will not be too long before a solution is found that will enable us all to return to life as normal.

STOP PRESS BY Minister David R. Bruton
AS I sit at my desk to write this addendum to my original article, I am self-isolating for seven days after attending a demonstration of mediumship last Saturday at my local church.

On Sunday morning (March 15), I was informed that a lady present at the demonstration has a son who had just tested positive for Covid-19 and on the advice of the NHS we should all self-isolate.
In the short time since I penned my original piece, the situation has changed dramatically. Many of our churches have now taken the decision to close their doors temporarily. The list around the UK is growing by the day.

This afternoon (March 17), we will hold a meeting, which could potentially see the decision taken to close the Arthur Findlay College for the time being following the EU decision to close its borders to all but essential travel and the significant decline in international air travel.

Without doubt life as we know it is going to change radically over the next few months with a virtual lockdown imposed in many countries.

Our thoughts go out to the many vulnerable people in our communities who will need our help and support just to keep going.

We have already witnessed evidence of a movement of volunteers around the country seeking to do what they can to help and support people. I have no doubt that Spiritualists will be part of this movement.

We could just be on the edge of a brave new world: God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
Please stay safe and spare a thought for those who might need your help and know that the spirit world will be guiding our actions for the good of humanity.

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