SNU Minister resigns in disgust

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SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Inspiration on Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:29 pm

The SNU are still at it. A respected Minister and President of Paignton Church has resigned. See link for full story
http://psychicnews.subhub.com/
I'll see if I can grab the text and put it here for you all to see.

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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Wes on Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:43 pm

Looking at the article I'd say that the SNU really need to freshen up their response to questions about their actions, as their "it's none of your business" replies are quite petulant.
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Lis on Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:47 pm

I quite agree with you Wes. There is a woman who has been a stalwart supporter of the SNU and a woman who has done much to support Spiritualism faced with a situation in her church that results in a person who allegedly was causing trouble being re-instated forcing her, in terms of conscience to resign as president of the church, as a minister and to step aside in terms of her involvement with Spiritualism.

For a person of that many years commitment to do this suggests there is a very deep problem within the SNU in terms of its handling of church disputes. To tell the president and committee they were not allowed to inform the church membership what was going on - and using the issues of confidentiality and the right to privacy to justify that position is clear evidence that the SNU is determined not to allow people to know the facts of the situation. Why?

Having been a 'church leader' I am very aware of times when there are problems caused by individuals and it is right not to expose that matter to the general membership, but when the problem is likely to affect the whole running of a church, and therefore impact on the membership, the church leader and their committee should be able to inform the membership, indeed, have an obligation to do so.

Lis
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Wes on Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:03 pm

It would be useful to see the wording of the bylaw that was used to remove the committee member in question, plus the reasons why the SNU deemed that the wrong bylaw was used, and if they identified another bylaw that would have been more appropriate.

EDIT: Just out of curiosity Lis, does the constitution of the NASM provide a clear cut mechanism for the removal of a misbehaving committee member?



Last edited by Wes on Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : extra thought :-))
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Lis on Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:43 pm

Hi Wes,

Yes. In brief should a committee member be guilty of improper conduct with regard to the affairs of the organisation, reject or neglect their obligations, then their position may be declared vacant by a majority vote of the remainder of the committee.

Of course, in order to take such an action there must be some process by which it is established that there has been "improper conduct" etc., and such a finding must be in accordance with 'reasonableness' and 'natural justice' which means that the person alleged to have acted improperly, etc, must have, as does any general member, the right to present their argument that they have not acted improperly, etc, to the committee before any finding is made, or any action is taken.

If they refuse to do so, or decline without giving any reason, then the committee is entitled to proceed with their determination and action to remove the committee member. Even then, the removed committee member has a right of appeal against that decision and may refer the matter for adjudication to the Trustees of the organisation whose decision in the matter is binding on the member and the committee.

In practice such an extreme action - to remove a committee member would never be taken without a great deal of repeated attempts to get the wayward committee member to 'see the error of their ways', and understand the committee's position on their conduct, but on rare occasions I believe such an action can be necessary.

Of course in Australia there is no central body to which an aggrieved ex-committee member can appeal. There is though still the right for them to take the matter to court if not satisfied. If, however, a committee and the management structure of an organisation has followed the rules of its constitution and done so in a manner that is reasonable and conforms with natural justice, an appeal to the courts is seldom successful.


Lis
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Wes on Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:48 am

Thanks Lis, I just wonder if the case in question was the "straw that broke the Camel's back" as it it such an extreme move to quit a church that you have put your blood sweat and tears into for many years. Although I do remember how stressful and demotivating an external "whisper" campaign can be, and to have something like that in your own committee would be so much worse.

A pet theory of mine is that once a movement reaches a certain size that an administration level is introduced, whatever the movement originally stood for will be diluted, as people from outside the movement will be introduced and will eventually reach position of influence. These people won't be concerned with the values and aims of the movement but rather with balancing the books, doing PR, booking advertising and so on. To me that's what seems to be happening with the SNU, although I would like to be wrong.

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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Lis on Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:25 am

It may have been the last straw Wes, or just such a disillusioning experience that 40 or so years of involvement and support was made to feel like a terrible lie.

I, too, remember all too well what 'whisper campaigns' can do to one's belief in people, spirit, and the worthiness of the cause - especially when one is too ethical to retaliate in kind.

As for movements growing too big for their boots - you may well be right - perhaps that is why Spiritualism really was only at its best when it was not organised into central administrative/religious bodies.

I agree that the current power structure within the SNU seems more concerned with power and the financial bottom line (and the right to wear 'dog-collars') than it is with the real values, aims, and philosphical principles of the Spiritualist movement.

Lis
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by KatyKing on Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:57 pm

Internal church politics so there`s sure to be more than one case to be made. Obviously confidentiality issues are involved and one can but sympathise with whoever at SNU gets the short straw and has to attempt some sort of resolution. I`m no fortune teller but watch and look for an additional spiritualist cause forming at Paignton probably non SNU.
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Admin on Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:01 am

Of course this story is one of the tasters that Psychic news has made available to all comers. So even if you have not subscribed you can read it and the ongoing comments (over 82 now) including from people such as Katy, Lis and I.

http://psychicnews.subhub.com/content/respected-snu-minister-resigns
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by jock on Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:42 am

http://psychicnews.subhub.com/content/respected-snu-minister-resigns
Please have a look there is no need to subscribe to read this alarming news

In a move which is unlikely to bring much comfort to the upper echelons of the Spiritualists’ National Union (SNU), one of its ordained ministers has resigned, writes Susan Farrow.

Margaret Preece has been closely associated with the popular and successful Paignton Spiritualist Church and Centre for some twenty-five years. She has served the SNU in various capacities at both local and national levels and was ordained a minister in 2008.

Hello friends it is not so long ago the NEC of the SNU wanted to place a procedure in place so the NEC could dismiss a member of the NEC by a majority vote by the NEC. This was voted out at the AGM and rightly so, now we have a church trying to do the same thing. It is unfortunate this lady has fell foul of the rules however more research should have been made by the committee or an EGM called to resolve the situation. Even at this late date this could still be done by the members it is up to them to do it no-one else can. Jock McArthur Cool


http://jockmcarthur.com/

jock


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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by jock on Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:34 pm

http://www.snu.org.uk/newsevents/news2012/06022012.html please look at link for full text
Minister Margaret Preece
A Statement from the SNU President
06th February 2012
David Bruton OSNU


It is with great regret that I have to inform you of the resignation from membership of Minister Margaret Preece from the South Western District Council. Margaret has served both Spiritualism and the Union over many years and I know her to be a principled and honourable lady, who has certainly contributed much to the Ministry since her ordination in 2008. Every attempt was made to ask Margaret to reconsider her decision and, knowing her, I am sure she has not arrived at this decision lightly; sadly, she feels unable to continue in her present role within the Union, which will be a great loss to her Church in Paignton, the District, the Union, the wider movement and especially her Ministry, which has taken her into her local Inter-faith group and educational establishments in and around the Paignton area.




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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Admin on Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:53 pm

jock wrote:http://www.snu.org.uk/newsevents/news2012/06022012.html please look at link for full text
Minister Margaret Preece
A Statement from the SNU President
06th February 2012
David Bruton OSNU


It is with great regret that I have to inform you of the resignation from membership of Minister Margaret Preece from the South Western District Council. Margaret has served both Spiritualism and the Union over many years and I know her to be a principled and honourable lady, who has certainly contributed much to the Ministry since her ordination in 2008. Every attempt was made to ask Margaret to reconsider her decision and, knowing her, I am sure she has not arrived at this decision lightly; sadly, she feels unable to continue in her present role within the Union, which will be a great loss to her Church in Paignton, the District, the Union, the wider movement and especially her Ministry, which has taken her into her local Inter-faith group and educational establishments in and around the Paignton area.




That carpet they sweep all the troubles under must look more like a mountain now. Jock you keep flip flopping about the NEC one moment castigating it one moment supporting it as you seem to above. A committee has to be able to remove a disruptive member, anyway the NEC members are not elected they are appointed by El Presidente (except for the two VP's who are elected). No wonder the President and VP would not support any removal by vote when they hold all of the power.

Jim
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Admin on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:53 pm

I note on the comments about this issue on the Psychic News web site that a member of Paignton has pointed out to Jock that they were trying to hold an EGM but being blocked.

Jock replied upon there
You have my sympathy it looks like the NEC are making an issue of this and using the small print to their advantage. I hope the members find a way to redress the balance over a period of time.


Apparently the sadness David Bruton expresses in the SNU statement did not extend to a personal call to Margaret. Indeed it appears that their
Every attempt was made to ask Margaret to reconsider her decision
was a single phone call from Judith Seaman.

Once again another spin and bunkum news release by the SNU.


Last edited by Admin on Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Wes on Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:05 am

Did it truly take eight months for the NEC to pass judgement? That is very hard to comprehend..
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Admin on Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:34 am

It really does appear to be the truth Wes, in honesty that lot are, with some wonderful exceptions, worse than traditional churches, even down to the Ministry and hymns. I am sure our pioneers would be horrified. It is really time for a new organisation I doubt that the members can ever change this one. Sadly the SNU has amassed quite a fortune, from the committed people it is supposed to represent, it is that money that should drive our movement forward not bog it down in rules and regulations.

By the by what does the Trust say if membership continues to fall, somewhere between 300- 400 churches maybe 100 in supervision subject to potential sale. Membership falling, now around 14,000, well below the peak, about 40 people per church.
Jim
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by KatyKing on Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:34 pm

It's certainly elicited plenty of traffic on the PN site so a good move by Sue Farrow to make that article open access. To see and comment on other pieces you need to be a subscriber and at fourteen pounds that'a a bargain. Not many responses on there to anything else yet though. My article [Lily Dale UK] along with the majority online so far has had no comments at all. Thry have lightly moderated just one comment from me. by cutting out this sentence at the end of a SNU pro and con posting... 'If a church can go it alone I'd say 'Do so' '. That edit did not detract from the steer of the post so fair play. This new PN is shaping up quite nicely a good raad once a fortnight. Paignton may emerge as an independent cause perhaps in rented premises and that would be a shame. But if SNU own the building then they call the shots within those walls when these unhappy situations arise.
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Admin on Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:41 pm

True Katy they can call the shots. Of course if one of your aim is a Minister attached to evry church you may need less churches, more funds to pay some sort of stipend and then more Ministers.

Not sure what the intent is but Bruton has made it clear he wants more Officiants and Ministers. I also understand every church is meant to be associated with a Minister now.
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Admin on Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:43 pm

Oh but of course before this action Paignton had its own Minister working on a voluntary basis and doing by all accounts a very good job. Hmmm...
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by KatyKing on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:08 pm

SNU actions in some church interventions bely their own definition of custodian trusteeship which is to safeguard property whilst guaranteeing local independence.
I'm against the idea of ministers full stop. We don't need elites. That said there are some good people in SNU who are ministers. David Hopkins is wise and Eric Hatton's best of the best but he's retired. Margaret Preece ex PAignton another good un by all accounts. But what was wrong with just having a president? Minister as a title carries such Xtian baggage. Spiritualists 'playing at being vicars' ! Each to their own and if they want that then good luck, but not on my subs hence my Class B goes unrenewed.
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Admin on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:41 pm

Yup ours is just the leader no rev'ships has been since 1922. It still takes a big chunk of your time on top of everything else. I also prefer Centres not Churches.

I like the idea of Lilydale UK maybe get Lis and I to come back to the UK (Ok Lis is oz but lived there for 13 years). Shame no one has commented on your article. I must take time out to read all of it, what did I say about time commitments lol

I did not expect many comments about my piece on running an open circle as I knew it was a repeat from Spirit of PN, Sue was promoting development circles so I think my piece was run for the encouragement of others.

Jim
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by KatyKing on Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:05 pm

Good article I thought and useful too. How's your devpt circle getting on since you restarted it Jim?
We're a centre now rather than church but recognizable still use SNU hymnbooks on Sunday but rest of the week far more happening than SNU cause generally has or possibly would approve of. Mini sittings tomorrow. Ten mediums at three pounds a pop for fifteen minutes. It'll be packed.
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:58 pm

Hey that event sounds good I would like to be there. Two Fridays time we have a Trance and Transiguration evening with two good Mediums, Joanne King from Melbourne and our own Lis. Our Melbourne visitor will also run a Mediumship workshop on the Saturday

My circle, thanks for asking about it , hopefully, will go well, feeling the energies a bit on Monday with 5 new people and some regulars absent first one back. I realise I have been doing this for a long time now but the group seems to attract and keep really good people.

balancing Spiritualism and the New Age views that are often there keeps you on your toes but people have to decide for themselves.

Jim
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by KatyKing on Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:09 pm

Keeps us young[ish] anyway.
Sounds like a good group in embryo. We were inundated this afterrnoon they had to tturn some away as all mediums were booked solid by 2pm. Should have ended at five but most of us who could stayed til 530 to fit in a couple of extras each but there's a dem at six so that was it. Hard work but good fun too and raises funds for the centre plus a different local charity every time. Committee deserve medals one did full set of sittings this afternoon and she's chairing tonight too. She'll have been on duty for 11 hours solid today. We are lucky to have 'em. Marvellous people.
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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by zerdini on Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:53 pm

Admin wrote:It really does appear to be the truth Wes, in honesty that lot are, with some wonderful exceptions, worse than traditional churches, even down to the Ministry and hymns. I am sure our pioneers would be horrified. It is really time for a new organisation I doubt that the members can ever change this one. Sadly the SNU has amassed quite a fortune, from the committed people it is supposed to represent, it is that money that should drive our movement forward not bog it down in rules and regulations.

By the by what does the Trust say if membership continues to fall, somewhere between 300- 400 churches maybe 100 in supervision subject to potential sale. Membership falling, now around 14,000, well below the peak, about 40 people per church.
Jim

All this speculation is pointless if the membership refuse to do anything about it. The remedy is in their hands.

zerdini


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Re: SNU Minister resigns in disgust

Post by KatyKing on Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:08 am

Good point z and it has been tougher in recent years for rank & file SNU membership in the churches and centres to be not just heard but listened to with changes following. Problem to some extent has been the absence of a tranparently equitable elections structure. Delegates are all very well but many go up with a mandate then two AGMs later they've morphed into mouthpieces for the status quo reporting dictats down the line rather than driving change o behalf of those that sent them. One member one vote is a better way with all votes counted by one of those charities that do the same job for the trades unions. Any member free to stand for any office with their manifestos sent to all voting members. That's the only way we'll get away from these self perpetuating cartels who seem to have taken over the SNU of late.
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