Fonds MSS 425 - Winnipeg Spiritualist Church fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Winnipeg Spiritualist Church fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Records in Electronic Form
  • Graphic material
  • Object

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Other title information

Winnipeg Psychic Society

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

CA UMASC MSS 425

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1952-2011 (Creation)
    Creator
    Winnipeg Spiritualist Church

Physical description area

Physical description

0.48 m of textual records
180 photographs
2 artifacts
1 3.5" computer diskette

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Archival description area

Name of creator

([1952]-2012)

Administrative history

The Winnipeg Spiritualist Church, also known as the Winnipeg Psychic Society, was a small congregation that existed in Winnipeg from the date of its founding by Reverend Evan Clarke, among others, in the early 1950s until its dispersal in 2012. In its early years, the congregation was called The Spiritualist Church of Divine Truth; its name was changed to the Winnipeg Spiritualist Church in 1954, and also came to be known as a society in the 1960s. In 1984 the name Winnipeg Spiritualist Church was re-adopted, as well as incorporated, and the name Winnipeg Psychic Society became a name notation for the church. Upon its founding, the objectives of the Winnipeg Spiritualist Church were defined as the advancement and promotion of the religion of Spiritualism in Southern Manitoba, the education of future healers and demonstrators of Spiritualism, furtherance of the works of the Spiritualistic Society, and a commitment to charitable works. The church and its members upheld and promoted a belief in the seven principles of Spiritualism: 1) The Fatherhood of God; 2) The Brotherhood of man; 3) The communion of spirits and the ministry of angels; 4) The continuous existence of the human soul; 5) Personal responsibility; 6) Compensation and retribution hereafter for all good and evil deeds done on Earth and 7) Eternal progress open to every human soul. The small congregation did their best to further develop the Spiritualist community in Winnipeg by holding annual psychic teas, hosting classes or workshops on topics such as clairvoyant development, palmistry, symbology, dream interpretation, past life regression or spiritual evolution, and by hiring visiting mediums, such as Gaye Muir, to attend the church and exhibit evidence of psychic phenomena and life after death.

The Winnipeg Spiritualist Church was originally located on Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg, and moved to a building at 293 Kennedy Street in the early 1980s , followed by a move to 295 Broadway in 1986. In the autumn of 1989 the small congregation purchased the building at 1551 Arlington, and, after many months of renovations, held the Grand Opening Ceremony of the new building on Dec. 3, 1989. Services at the Winnipeg Spiritualist Church were held twice on Sundays; one service in the morning and another in the evening. In addition, a healing service was held on Sunday mornings. Services consisted of a combination of aura cleansing and energizing, guided meditation, healing, the presence of clairvoyants, singing of hymns or worshipful songs, and a message in accordance with the principles agreed upon by the church, in an effort to promote and expand the understanding of Spiritualism. The small church, numbering approximately 20-80 members throughout the years, survived financially upon the generous donations of its members, one of whom accepted the mortgage of the church building at 1551 Arlington under her own name. Also conducive to the financial stability of the church were social hours, workshops, demonstrations, evenings of clairvoyance, annual psychic teas and other fundraisers hosted by the church and its members for small costs, as well as the fees paid yearly by members of the church. A Board of Directors made up of 5-9 members led the church. The leadership positions were filled by members of the church, and were newly voted upon and elected by fellow members of the congregation each year. Aside from membership disputes in 1992, relationships between the members and leaders of the Winnipeg Spiritualist Church were harmonious. The positions of leadership changed hands often until the election of Reverend Linda Zagozewski as president of the congregation in 1989; Zagozewski was a board member and/or president of the small church from 1986 until her death in 2005. After the death of Zagozewski, her husband Reverend Duncan Wilson became president of the small church until his own death in 2012. Without anyone to carry forward the role of leadership in the dwindling congregation, the remaining members chose to disperse the funds, library materials and records of the Winnipeg Spiritualist Church to the Survival Research Institute of Canada and the Universty of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, among other organizations. The hopes of the members upon the dispersal of the Winnipeg Spiritualist Church were that the funds and materials of the church donated to various institutions would be carried forward in the furtherance of research and the understanding of Spiritualism.

Custodial history

The records of the Winnipeg Spiritualist Church were collected by Barbara Anderson and Roberta McClellan upon the disbursal of the congregation, and were donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in December 2013.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of 8 series: vital documents, annual reports and minutes, financial reports, bulletins and church information, correspondence, subject files and references, photographs, and artifacts. Included in these series are the Church's constitution, materials used by the directors and members of the congregation during services or other functions, official minutes and financial reports, correspondence revealing the relations between members and directors of the Church, membership and healing lists, and photographs.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

The arrangement of the collection into 8 series was imposed upon the Winnipeg Spiritualist Church records; the original order of the materials was kept where possible, but in organizing the collection records were placed with those of their kind, and arranged chronologically.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Associated materials

While not directly related to this collection, the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections houses many collections pertaining to psychical research and spiritualism--including the Hamilton family fonds--that might be of interest to researchers who have explored this collection.

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Accruals

No other accruals are expected.

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Description record identifier

Mss 425 (A13-159)

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Rules or conventions

Status

Revised

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Chantel Banman August 2014

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

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