History and Humble Beginnings of Centre Christian Spiritualist Church
Edith Jean Saunders was born on 30th April 1914, to parents Sidney and Ruby Burns, in a small cottage located near the seventh furlong of the Belmont Racecourse, an inner suburb of Perth, Western Australia. The small cottage was the family home provided as part of Sidney's employment as a gardener at the Belmont Racecourse.
Rev. Jean Saunders association with Religion and Spiritualism commenced at a very early age, attending church on a regular basis with her parents. As Jean grew from childhood to adulthood, married and had children or her own, she continued to attend Church with her family on a regular basis. There was a constant yearning deep within Jean to participate more within the Church and be of service to others, however Jean felt she needed to put her family’s needs before her own yearning.
By October 1966, with both children now married and living away from the family home, Jean now had the time she required to become more involved in Spiritualism and being of service to others. Her progress was swift, not surprisingly, considering her Mother and Grandmother were spiritualists with psychic ability. Reverend Hawkins’ message given by spirit many years previous had come to fruition, Jean was now serving in many Spiritualist Churches and in 1978 held her own first closed circle at her home.
With solid foundations built on Trust, Faith and Belief in God the Supreme Creator and guiding beacon of light, Jean Saunders was encouraged by family, friends and spirit guides from the higher realms of spirit to establish a temple of light that was to be known as Centre Christian Spiritualist Church.
With the support and motivation from her husband Ron, daughter Margaret and loyal like minded people with a passion to serve God and be of service to others, the process began to establish a place of worship and serenity where individuals could seek knowledge and a deeper understanding of what is Spiritualism and develop their individual spiritual self.
Centre Christian Spiritualist Church services commenced on 12th August 1979 at the Subiaco Scout Hall, until a private temple was constructed at the rear of Jean and Ron's home at 226 Hammersley Road Subiaco. Church services commenced at the new Chapel on 2nd December 1979.
With an ever increasing Church membership and many newcomers every week seeking an understanding and knowledge about Spiritualism, and developing their spiritual gifts, it was not too long before larger premises were needed. So the search began for suitable premises in Subiaco and surrounding suburbs to accommodate the growing congregation and Church needs.
On 3rd August 1980 Centre Christian Spiritualist Church moved all Church services, with the exception of the monthly Saturday "At Home" gatherings, to 76 Townshend Road, Subiaco.
Centre Christian Spiritualist Church would continue to rent the premises at 76 Townshend Road Subiaco from Masonic Lodge for a period of almost eight years.
Reverend Jean Saunders passed suddenly into the spirit world on Palm Sunday, 6 April 1985 after suffering a heart attack. Rev. Jean Saunders left a legacy of a strong congregation, well trained mediums and dedicated committee members, who would continue building on the strengths of our Church, promoting The Seven Principles of Spiritualism and continue to provide proof of life after death.
In 1987 the Masonic Lodge decided it was time they closed their Lodge as many members had passed over in recent years and those left were not always in good health and getting on in years. By the Grace of God, The Masonic Lodge offered Centre Christian Spiritualist Church the opportunity to purchase the property as we had rented the premises for the past seven years and been good tenants.
With the impeccable leadership of Reverend Cathie Mayne, strong and cohesive Committee members, tremendous support and dedication from Founding Members, Church Members and Congregation, fundraising began in earnest; with fashion parades, cake stalls, raffles, week-end markets, Christmas Cake sales, jams and pickles, and so much more. All our efforts had one focus, that was raising the funds to purchase our very own Temple of Light that Centre Christian Spiritualist Church would call home.
On 1st February 1988, exactly 58 years to the day after the Masonic Lodge had purchased the property for their lodge meetings, Centre Christian Spiritualist Church representatives signed the documents of ownership for 76 Townshend Road Subiaco.
Special thanks go to all dedicated volunteers who worked so hard in raising funds to purchase our very own premises, also a huge thanks to Rev, Cathie Mayne's husband Ted (our builder), Roy Palmer (our bricklayer and paver) and Peter Dresen (our painter), also Ron and Margaret who were both towers of strength to Reverend Jean and Reverend Cathie Mayne and our Church at all times.
Footnote: Jean Saunders was ordained in October 1979 and became a State Minister of Religion (W3206) under the guise of US of A. Our Church remained associated with US of A until July 1982 when US of A operational and ownership regulations changed dramatically and the ability for US of A to take full control of our Church became apparent. Our Church Congregation voted to break away from US of A, which meant Rev. Jean would need to give up her Ministership and become a Marriage Celebrant (A1399).
In July 1983 Centre Christian Spiritualist Church became affiliated with The Victorian Spiritualist Union (V.S.U. founded in 1870). In July 1983 the VSU was recognised as a religious organization under Section 26 of the Marriage Act and in December 1983 Reverend Jean Saunders was ordained a Minister of Religion again (W3634).
Centre Christian Spiritualist Church has remained an affiliate of VSU since 1983.