A Major Church Discovers the Truth of Spiritual Mediumship.
(And why you probably have never heard about it !)
In 1937, due to the rising popularity of popularity of Spiritualism in the United Kingdom and the rest of the developed world , The Church of England decided to set up an Inquiry into Spiritualism.
The Church of England is the founding Church of the Anglican Communion, which has eighty-five million members. It therefore is the third biggest Christian Communion in the World , after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
This seems to have been prompted by the aftermath of World War One, when many people turned to mediums to contact their dead relatives who had been killed tragically in action, or in the Spanish Flu pandemic which swept the world in 1918-20. Conventional religions did not appear to provide comfort for grieving relatives of many young people taken before their time it seemed. Proof of their continued existence provided solace to the bereaved.
This understandably was a cause of concern to Anglican Christian ministers, as it was contrary to Biblical teaching from the Book of Leviticus onwards. However, what obviously concerned the hierarchy of the Church of England, was this contact of the dead, genuine or faked ? Setting up an Inquiry which may prove these “contacts” ,” “readings” ,”seances” etc.etc to be frauds would help the “faithful” to ignore the attraction of spiritual mediumship, they thought. Contacting the dead via spiritual mediums is banned in the Bible, but surely they must have reasoned, that “modern” methods would prove the mediums were fakes anyway ?
Therefore, the Church of England presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most senior clergyman in the Anglican Communion, Dr Cosmo Laing , set up a committee of high- ranking Church ministers and lay people to investigate the phenomena. These were selected for their intellect and knowledge to investigate Spiritual Mediums and their practices. This committee included the then best-known British Psychiatrist and Psychologist Dr William Brown. He had already investigated a well- known clairvoyant and had declared her to be fraudulent in some of her practices. So, it must have seemed he was just the right person for the job, or so they thought!
This committee set about its task and nearly a year later in 1938 , it duly delivered its Majority Report to the Archbishop and some other very senior Bishops. Unfortunately to their obvious discomfort, the committee by a clear majority vote, had decided that direct spiritual contact with departed spirits was a proven reality ! Even the small minority of members that did not vote for the proposition , merely reserved their judgement and did not vote against it !
Clearly this presented a problem for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other senior Bishops. The findings not only confirmed some mediums could in fact successfully contact deceased human spirits, but the report also suggested that such contact could reinforce people’s faith in the afterlife and other Christian beliefs as well. This potential spiritual “bombshell” could cause many theological problems for a conventional faith- based Church.