Winnipeg Spiritualist Church:

An Inventory of The Winnipeg Spiritualist Church Records at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Chantel Banman
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Dafoe Library, University of Manitoba
(August 2014)

Finding aid encoded by Chantel Banman (August 2014)
Finding aid written in English.



Collection Summary

Repository:
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Dafoe Library, University of Manitoba

Creator:
Winnipeg Spiritualist Church

Title:
Winnipeg Spiritualist Church fonds

Dates:
1952-2011

Quantity:

Identification:
MSS 425 (A13-139)

English

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Administrative History of Winnipeg Spiritualist Church

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 to attend the church and exhibit evidence of Psychic Phenomena and life after death. One such was Gaye Muir, a returning medium from England who was both a member of the church and a demonstrator of psychic phenomena upon her visits. Muir was an ordained pastor of the Church of the Holy Spirit and was well known for her work, as well as her authorship of the books Brücke zwischen den Welten, Within and Beyond, Exploring the next dimension, and My Route to the Other World, in Canada, the United States, the Middle East and many countries of Europe. Muir emphasized in her works a belief in individual existence after death, evidence for which she illustrated by sharing her own experiences and encounters as a medium. 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.

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Scope and Contents of the Records

The fonds consists of 8 series: Vital Documents, Annual Reports & Minutes, Financial Reports, Bulletins & Church Information, Correspondence, Subject Files & Reference, 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.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged in 8 series: Vital Documents, Annual Reports & Minutes, Financial Reports, Bulletins & Church Information, Correspondence, Subject Files & Reference, Photographs and Artifacts.These series were 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.

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Restrictions on Access

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Restrictions on Use

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Related Materials

While not directly related to this collection, the University of Manitoba Archives & Special collections boasts of 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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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 the University of Manitoba Archives in December of 2013.

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Other Finding Aids

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Vital Documents [ 1972-1996 ]

BoxFolder
1 1 Constitution and Amendments 1972, 1982
2 Real Estate Doc. for 1551 Arlington 1989
3 Certificate of Title 1994, 1996
4 Renewal of Name Notation for Winnipeg Psychic Society 1992

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Annual Reports and Minutes 1952-1998
BoxFolder
15 Annual Reports 1975-1988, 1991
6 Extracts of Minutes 1952-1964
7 Minutes (mostly handwritten) 1990-1993
8 Minutes (typed) 1994-1998

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Financial Reports 1975-1996
BoxFolder
19 Financial Reports 1975-1985 ; 1992-1996
10 Gaye Muir Account 1991

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Bulletins and Church Information 1988-1993
BoxFolder
111 Bulletins 1988-1991
12 Church Service Notes
13 Course Materials
14 Flyers and Fundraising [1995-1998]
15 Family Songbook of Faith and Joy 1993
16 Hymnal
BoxFolder
21 Library Directory
2 Membership Lists 1987, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997
3 Sermons of the Old Testament by Jesus of Nazareth Copyright 1960-1966
4 Marriage Ceremony 2002
5 Floppy Disc - Death Ritual Brochure

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Correspondence 1980-2010
BoxFolder
26 Correspondence from Board to all Church Members 1980-1994
7 Correspondence and Witness Accounts regarding the 1992 Membership Dispute 1992
8 Other Correspondence 1980-2010

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Subject Files & Reference 1971-2011
BoxFolder
29 Miscellaneous [1987, 1998, 2007, 2008]
10 Guest Books 1986-2011 ; 1990-2009
11 Healing Lists 1991-2008
12 Rev. Linda Zagozewski Personal Notebook [ca. 1990]
13 Reference Article by unknown Author 1971

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Photographs 1989-1990
BoxFolder
214 Photos and Polaroids, undated
BoxFolder
31 Photo Album 1989-1990
2 Photo Album, undated [1989-1990]

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Artifacts
BoxFolder
4 (Oversize) Collection Plate
WSCI Rubber Stamp

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