CRAWLEY SPIRITUALIST CHURCH AND HEALING CENTRE
Crawley Spiritualist Church, which is affiliated to the SNU - Spiritualist National Union - is run by a committee of members, who are elected yearly at the Annual General Meeting.
President : Maureen Hedger
Vice President: Tom Baker
Treasurer: Val Illman
General committee: John Swaby,
The church was founded in November 1950 by a band of dedicated people who wanted their own church as opposed to travelling to Reigate and Dorking – which was the only means they had of attending spiritualist services. The church owes its existence to such people as Mr & Mrs Knight, Mr & Mrs Whales, Mr & Mrs Grout, and Mr & Mrs Heron; the first services being held in the parlour of the Knights’ home. In 1963 two more spiritualists joined the group and were actively involved in the day-to-day activities and were known as Olly and Rose Burrows. They had been spiritualists for a number of years and quickly settled into the life of the Crawley Church.
The first home of the church was the Girl Guide hut known as Goffs Hall, no longer standing. Soon after moving into these premises Mrs Grout passed to the higher life and with her passing the interest waned and the church came near to closing. Then the remaining spiritualists, got together with the help of a Mr Adams and revived the flagging spirits. It is inevitable that when a new group form it is beset with the usual ups and downs, and the Church being no exception had a few. The next Sir Galahad came in the form of George Packer who brought into the church his business expertise with great success, and played a part in putting the Church on a sound financial footing and restoring harmony.
The next milestone came with the notice to quit Goffs Hall and a temporary home was found in the Community hut at West Green where a room was hired – all the equipment required for service being carried to and from the hall in a suitcase. In passing we must remember with gratitude the help received from Croydon church at Chatsworth Road, who sent to us mediums to conduct the services.
Unhappily the church had to move on again; this time space was found at the St Johns Ambulance hut in Crawley High Street. Again everything had to be transported by suitcase to carry out the services. However, this was only for a short duration as we had the chance to return to Goffs Hall. This establishment was very wet and cold on occasions. Mediums carried out their work with water running from their shoes, such were the conditions under which everyone worked and services were carried out.
At last dedication was rewarded and in 1980 we moved to a permanent home, here at Capel Lane, Gossops Green, 1950. Subsequently the church became affiliated to the SNU, the Spiritualists National Union, and was solomnised for weddings.
The church has brought comfort and help to many over the past 63 years; giving proof of survival to the bereaved and Healing to the sick. Healing has been an integral part of the Church from the beginning with many wonderful people who have kept the work moving forward. One such devoted soul was Joan Cook, who for many years, together with her husband George, led the healing group until her passing to the higher life, when her task was passed to her pupil Jean Holland to head the healers and in turn the Frossard family played a big part in leading the dedicated healers.
Development circles have played a prominent part in church life. It is from these that our healers and mediums have progressed along their chosen pathways, that we have followed with pride. Mediums and Healers have commenced their spiritual paths from within this sanctuary . However, we must mention those who have worked hard in the background and whose effort have kept us going, especially George Packer, with our financial status, enabling the church to grow from an early balance of £60 and contributing greatly to the church. George’s wife, known as Elsie, gave wonderful clairvoyance from the platform. Olly’s partner, known as Rose, had for many years the task of booking the mediums, and at the end of the services she could be found in the kitchen providing the tea ……where she often appears to this day ! May Keywood, who served as Vice President, was another person who contributed greatly to the church, running development circles, was a member of the healing team, and left a considerable donation to the church funds on her passing to the higher life.
Many have passed through Crawley Spiritualist church in Gossops Green and some have stayed and some have moved on. The pioneer members have passed to the higher life but we remember them with affection, knowing that without them our church would never have been inaugurated.
Recent presidents have included Ken Cox and Paula Cox , Joan Mayhew, Derek Weaver and Cy Coombes
In remembering those past we also give our thoughts to those of today. When the Church was founded a beacon was lit, and it is the aim of the Committee, along with other people who offer their assistance, plus the people attending the church, to see that the Beacon stays alight. Today the church is in a strong position with membership increasing, good support and attendance, and on a sound financial footing. In 2009 we are able to undertake a major internal refurbishment, which was dearly needed, and which has helped to provide further inspiration and commitment. In 2010 we celebrated our 60th birthday, and in 2011 we commenced a 5 year plan of further improvements to the church. In 2012 we celebrated a wedding blessing and a full wedding, and attendance at the services and events continues to be excellent all with the help of our friends in spirit.
Spiritualism is a way of life and Crawley Church takes its rightful place in promoting this.
WE THANK ALL FOR THEIR WONDERFUL SUPPORT