I’ve had a couple of visits to do services this week. In the discussion with organisers we have hit on the thorny question of ‘to charge or not to charge’. It’s a hard one.
I know from my own work that I have to get to the churches and centres and get home. So I run a car. I feel it’s only fair that the church or centre give me a little something to defray my costs. In fact one of the organisations, the Spiritualist National Union, had a standard milage rate that it’s churches can use to calculate the travel costs of mediums. I tend to apply a smaller charge because I have income from Spirit in another way. But I understand why some churches and centres think twice about me travelling a long distance to do their services.
Of course it’s never a surprise when my discussions turn in another direction. Spirit usually arranges it so. My local Spiritualist National Union church has posted on it’s Facebook page that it is going to start charging for one of it’s services from August. Apparently the free will collection has not been producing enough to keep the doors of the church open. I have to say this really saddened me. I learned a lot more about the Spirit World through the church I first did my development in. It’s the place where my connections became good enough to really work for the Spirit people.
In considering why a charge was being introduced the issue of medium’s fees came up.
I do feel that someone supplying their services cannot be expected to do so for free. That’s why there is a suggested expenses tariff. I also recognise that smaller churches may need to cut their coat according to their cloth. Local mediums may be the way forward. And for churches with no other source of income a door charge may supplement the fundraising that is done to pay for overheads. In fact some churches have moved into renting instead of owning. And some spiritualist groups meet in the home of volunteers to remove all idea of cost.
I think there is a wider debate that needs to happen with members of churches. If churches are struggling what are members doing to support their church? Is it left to a small number of people to steer the church forward? And what is the umbrella bodies doing to support the churches in engaging more attendance to generate income? Or money management? Maybe we will have to face the idea that the time for churches is actually over. That people are leaving religions to find spirituality instead. And that the place to see a medium has moved to the pub or club.
Whatever your view on ‘to charge or not to charge’ if you are a spiritualist please get involved if you want your local churches to keep running. Because charging for attendance is not always the best way forward.
Day 590 of my blogging challenge