Society & First Church
Hampton Hill Spiritualist Church was first established in October 1919 as the Hampton Hill Spiritualist Society. The Society was located at No. 3 High Street in Hampton Hill. A number of propaganda meetings were organised in October 1919 to promote the Society. However, these were attended by City Missionaries intent on disrupting the meetings and the medium was unable to work at one of the early meetings owing to the disruption caused by the opposition! After such a controversial start, we are pleased to report that things are much better now.
We do not know the exact location of the original church but understand it was a rather primitive tin hut! Thankfully, today's facilities are a bit more luxurious! (If anyone does know the location of the first church, we would love to hear from you).
One of the earliest references we have to the first church is in the book "Fifty Years a Medium" by the famous medium Estelle Roberts. Estelle was one of the finest mediums of the past 100 years and we are very privileged to have been the first Spiritualist church ever attended by Estelle. She attended the church in about 1921 and it was the messages delivered at Hampton Hill which acted as a catalyst for her lifetime of work for spirit. Estelle went on to become one of the finest mediums of her day and perhaps of all time. The excerpt from the book where she discusses her visit to Hampton Hill church is included below:
“…my next door neighbour, a Mrs Slade, invited me to accompany her to a Spiritualist meeting which she was going to attend. I agreed and we went to the little Spiritualist church at Hampton Hill. This church, I recall, was constructed entirely of tin. We attended three times.
Each meeting was addressed by a different medium and each medium, it seemed to me, was focusing her entire attention exclusively on me. I began to think it was all part of a conspiracy to convert me to Spiritualism. At the third meeting, the psychic demonstrator was Mrs Elizabeth Cannock, whom I later came to know as a very good medium, highly respected for her gifts and her integrity. She singled me out at once saying in unequivocal terms: ‘You are a medium and have much work to do. Chosen by the spirit world, you must not ignore the call. Please come see me after the meeting.”
Second Church - the "Old Church"
Some time between 1921 and 1928, the church moved to a building at No 12 Windmill Road fondly remembered by many as the Old Church. This building was originally built as a congregational chapel and used for this purpose between 1838 and 1870, after which it had a wide variety of uses including a glove factory. The church was affiliated to the SNU in 1929 and was formally registered as a spiritualist church in May 1937 although the application states that it had been used as spiritualist church for some years prior to this. The church building and land were later purchased in March 1957 and put into trust with the SNU. The church remained in this building until 2000 when it moved to the new church constructed at the rear. By 2000, the Old Church was in a poor state and in need of major repair work. Some photographs of the Old Church are shown on the Our Photos page.
Third Church - "New Church"
In the late 1990s, the Church negotiated a land swap with a local developer and the current church was constructed in 2000 on land to the rear of the Old Church with the original plot at the front being used for residential housing. The new church held its first service in August 2000 and it was officially opened in a Dedication Service by the SNU President Duncan Gascoyne on 1st October 2000. Photos of the dedication service can be seen on our Photos page.
I am sure you will all agree that the current building is a wonderful home from which Hampton Hill can go from strength to strength in the 21st century!
If you can provide us with any further information on the history of Hampton Hill Spiritualist Church or have any photos of the old church, we would love to hear from you.
Well Known Mediums
Hampton Hill is lucky to have been served by some excellent well known mediums over the years including the now deceased mediums Estelle Roberts, Coral Polge and Jean Bassett.
In addition, we are lucky to have had demonstrations and workshops by some excellent contemporary teaching mediums as follows (in alphabetical order):