Erdington Christian Spiritualist Church

 

THE PILGRIM'S STORY

 

INTRODUCTION

 

This is the story of Ray and Linda Wilson.  We were two very ordinary people leading very ordinary lives who were plucked from no-where and drawn together by forces unseen to unite in love, companionship and devotion to follow the Will and the Way of Spirit.  We were two people who were to discover that we had seen life together in past times, and were in fact true “Twin Spirits”.

 

We wish to tell our story not for any egotistical reason, not for any personal gain, but simply to share it with you in the hope that it will inspire you and help to open your understanding to the wonders of the Spirit when you choose to hear the call and respond to it with love, commitment and faith.

 

 

Our journey together has been miraculous and adventurous.  We knew from the start that it could never be easy, that there would be many sacrifices, tests and trials along the way, but it has been life changing and rewarding, resulting in the creation of Erdington Christian Spiritualist Church.

 

 

Through it all, the love of the Spirit has guided and sustained us and through the Spirit Guides, Lin Chan and Brother Christophorus we have been urged to share the experiences and many philosophical (and sometimes prophetic) writings that we have been privileged to receive throughout our time together.

 

We do hope therefore that you will accept this in the spirit that it is given, one of love, and a desire to share some of the many miracles experienced on our pathway of life together.  “Coincidence” – no such thing.  Please read on…..

 With love

 from Linda-and-Ray

Twin-Spirits FOREVER united

 

AT FIRST THERE WAS ONE

 

THE Story begins with RAY WILSON, whose Spiritual Journey and Quest began on the 14th May 1982, aged 52 years.

 

                                             BACKGROUND

 

THAT day and date appeared on a letter that had arrived from his Aunt Grace who wrote to tell him that she had been inspired by Spirit to tell him that both his late Mother and Mother-in-Law wished to communicate with him.  He was to go to the nearest Spiritualist Church as soon as possible, as this would be the place where he would receive the communication.

 

 

SURPRISING as it may seem, until this time he had been totally unaware that his Aunt Grace had been a long term serving Medium in the Spiritualist Church for 55 years.   In obedience to his Aunt’s instruction, having located a local Spiritualist Church, he duly attended and was shocked to receive a direct and totally evidential message from his mother saying that it was the wish of Guidance that he should work with them as there was work to be done by him on behalf of Spirit.

 

 

IT should be borne in mind that up to this point in Ray’s life no established relationship had existed with any conventional church, the technical association with the Church of England being the only link through baptism as a child.  This was mainly due to severe health problems from the age of five which inhibited him from any conventional education until the age of nine.  This meant that no basic background of either Sunday school, Bible Study or R.E existed. 

 

THIS situation continued during the War years from late 1939 onwards, apart from what Ray amusingly referred to as the normal "hatch, match and dispatch" services which he was obliged to attend from time to time for baptisms, weddings, funerals,  and Service church parades.  No religious activity or training took place until this adult call to serve came.

 

 

 

                                                      THE SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

THE normal induction into the Spiritualist way of life would include involvement with Development Circles and possibly an introduction into Healing practice.  Ray followed this course of action and  over a period of about three months, he had developed an awareness of the presence of Guidance which began to manifest through the powerful flow of Spiritual writing and philosophy through an entity who called himself Brother Christophorus. 

AN equally significant presence in the form of a Chinese Guide named Lin Chan  was also manifesting, who seemed to have been given the task of instructing and guiding totally.  His presence manifested initially through his hand being placed on Ray’s shoulder for the ensuing three months and during Circle sitting times or healing.   All of this progress was achieved without any sense of distrust, or alarm, as all was of logic and in a gentle but very humorous and uplifting manner which instilled confidence and certainty that Ray was at no time misled or placed in jeopardy.  He was always urged by Guidance to go forward in confidence  which was of great comfort in healing situations.

 

 

                                    MIRACULOUS HEALING

 

 THIS was highlighted to Ray through a life changing Miraculous experience that occurred whilst administering healing in partnership with Jim Kesterton, a man who Ray had met at Church during the very early stages of their Spiritual journeys and who had become a friend.  They both knew and had done healing before for an elderly Medium called Hetty Lanchbury.   In her youth she had been afflicted with polio making the one leg very weak and frail requiring a leg iron. 

 

WHILST at home she had a fall which resulted in the tibia and fibula breaking together above the ankle.  It does not require much thought to know the pain and distress such an injury would create.   She was taken to hospital where on examination the doctors advised her that they thought the only course of action possible would be to amputate the leg.  They felt that the consequence of putting it in plaster would almost certainly result in gangrene, followed, of course, by death.  She said that she was told by the hospital that if it did heal she would not be able to walk on it again, ever.

 

SHE refused to agree to amputation, saying that she Knew that the Spirit of God would look after her.    It was decided that in the circumstances they would have to discharge her as she would not sign the documents for treatment, and was duly returned to her home with a large supply of pain killing tablets, the ambulance crew making her as comfortable as possible.  She called both Jim and Ray asking them to go to her as soon as possible.

  

IN the moment the telephone call was finished, Lin Chan told Ray that he would need to take some materials with him, and duly itemised a soft sheepskin-type cover from an electric heating pad; three pieces of plasticard and one very long shoe or boot lace.  Lin Chan instructed that Ray should use a tool to make holes in the sheepskin at measurements he would specify.

 

HAVING accomplished all this, Ray went with Jim and they found Hetty in great distress crying out at every breath.   Immediately Lin Chan intervened through Ray and gave instructions to both of them, Jim being detailed to take charge of her head, sitting behind her as he followed instructions, and held the head between his two hands.  She said it felt a bit better.  Lin Chan said that “now she will sleep” and that’s just the way it happened. 

THEN Lin Chan took over control and said to Ray “sit at her feet, place your one hand under the leg and the other hand, cupped,  place under the now hanging heel” (as the foot was now in the fallen position).  This instruction was followed with trepidation.  However, there was no need to fear as there was no adverse reaction from the lady who had been placed in a very deep anaesthetised healing state.

THE next thing was to lift the foot up, which was done with the sound of the bones crossing, but again, no adverse reaction.  When the foot reached normal position the instruction was to hold the leg at the damaged bone position until told by Lin Chan to release, which took about 10 minutes.  He then wanted the materials Ray had brought to be assembled which formed a kind of splint. 

THEN the lace was fed through the holes that Ray had made at home and when tightened, the outline of the foot was clear from the position of the lace.  It fitted so precisely, almost as though measured and done on the spot.

JIM was then told by Lin Chan to release Hetty’s head and that in a few moments Hetty would awaken without pain.  When she came to she stated that she observed the whole event out of the body.  She also commented that a number of Spiritualist Healers from the Spirit World had enjoined with Ray and Jim to help and support the healing.  These included Harry Edwards.  Hetty stated she was in no pain and just felt numb all over, (a situation which continued therafter).   At this point Lin Chan spoke to her through Ray saying that the hospital’s forecast that she would not walk again was untrue and that she would be walking at the end of three months.

 

YES, Hetty’s leg did fully heal and Yes, she was walking again at the end of three months and sent for Ray and Jim to witness the results of the miraculous healing which allowed her to walk unaided to answer the door to let them in.  That was Ray and Jim’s FIRST MAJOR HEALING MIRACLE.

 

 

 

 

                                                  PROPHETIC TRANCE WRITINGS

DURING this time Ray received a great profusion of Spiritual Writing through Brother Christophorus – much of it Prophetic in nature – foretelling of Ray’s future meeting with a new companion who would be his true Twin Spirit and working aid in life.

 

 

                                                SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE

 

ALSO at this time Ray was led by Lin Chan to go on a mystery trip with him, following his cryptic instructions for directions which were to visit a place where there had been Healing for a thousand years.  This in the end proved to be the Abbey at Maryvale.  For this visit Ray had been told to take his “lens of light” (camera) and was directed by Lin Chan to take pictures of the main stained glass window through the side wall stained glass windows.  Miraculously these photographs when developed contained spirit images relating to Ray’s new companion to be and her father who was in Spirit.  

 

 

                                 CALL TO MEET COMPANION

 

ON Friday 13th March 1987 at 4.00 p.m. Ray was driving on business when Lin Chan stated “you are to go and sit in Circle at the church tonight.”  That was all that was said.  Ray had not sat in the Church Circle for about 18 months and so this was quite a surprise, but he trusted and always followed the guidance given.  This was to prove to be the precursor to the first meeting that evening between Ray and Linda.

 

 

         

AND THEN THERE WAS ANOTHER ONE

 

 

LINDA MESSENGER, who was the second part of this Spiritual equation began her adult Spiritual awakening which was indeed a beginning that was not a beginning.

AS a child Linda was a very dedicated little soul.  Attended Sunday School and Bible Class regularly and devotedly, and underwent Believers Baptism in the Plymouth Brethren Church at the age of 14.  This was a Church with fairly extreme views and Linda was an impressionable and sensitive girl.  This combination left her bereft and empty when her father took his own life when she was 17 years of age.  The Church was unable to reassure her that her father's soul was alright.  They had extreme beliefs in “heaven and hell” and it was here that the problem occurred, as their belief implied that her father had indeed sinned in taking his own life, and were therefore unable to offer her any comfort at all.

THIS resulted in Linda’s time in the wilderness, not belonging to any church and unable to believe in any loving God.  She was left for 22 years believing that her dad was “burning in hell”. 

 

 

                                             THE SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

 

IT was at this point in 1987, (in fulfillment of Ray’s Spiritual Prophetic Writings), that Spirit intervention began to manifest in Linda’s life and her second “awakening” began.  This was brought about through her interest in past life regression.  She had been introduced to this topic through a friend who was a qualified hypnotherapist who took her on Saturday 10th January 1987 to Scarborough to his Training School Christmas dinner. 

 

ON this night the seating plan was "miraculously" shuffled around by Spirit to enable Linda to be seated beside a man named Norman who turned out to be a Spiritualist Healer and Parapsychologist.  As the conversation developed, Linda questioned him about spiritual matters, and particularly concerning the whereabouts of her dad's spirit.  He was able to assure her that he had been taken into the Spirit Realm where he would have been counselled and nursed back to health and brought the understanding of what had happened to him.  He assured her that he was watching over her and was progressing in the World of Spirit.  At that VERY INSTANT Linda was able to know that this was the truth and felt that an enormous weight had been lifted from her.  She felt she had been re-connected with her dad and her God and left the room "walking on air" anxious to know more of the Spiritual Way.

 

 

                                                        SPIRIT WRITING

 

WHEN Linda returned to work on Monday 12 January 1987, greatly enlightened and relieved, she attempted to link with Spirit through Spirit Writing.  She wrote what appeared to be pages of scribble and scrawl, but when scrutinised later there were a number of Latin words visible and also the names of L. Messenger and R. Wilson next to each other (although at this point on the calendar they had not physically met yet)

 

 

                                                GUIDANCE ON THE ROAD

 

ON 4th February 1987 Linda was anxious because she was late for work.  She could not decide which route to drive to work as it was important she got to work on time.  As she prayed for guidance at the approach to an island the car in front of her started to indicate right.  The indicator lights were particularly bright to Linda so she took it to be guidance and followed that route to work which got her in on time.

 

DURING her lunch break that day she started to read the Solihull "Why" magazine.  As she browsed the pages her eyes were fixed upon an entry in the Personal Column in which a prayer had been inserted.  The opening lines of the prayer knocked her for six, as they summarised what had happened to her on the road that morning.  “Holy Spirit.  You who solve all problems, LIGHT ALL ROADS, SO THAT I CAN OBTAIN MY GOAL…….”  This proved to be yet another major stepping stone reinforcing Linda’s belief that God really was watching over her, calling her to awaken spiritually at that time. 

 

 

                                             CALL TO MEET COMPANION

 

IN response to a letter from Linda, Norman from Scarborough wrote suggesting that she attended her local Spiritualist Church (and he specified which one) to learn more about the ways of Spirit.  This letter was received on Tuesday 3rd March 1987 (the week before Lin Chan told Ray to attend Circle at the same church) Of course she took the advice and ended up sitting in the Circle on Friday 13th March 1987.  During the course of the evening Lin Chan manifested through Ray and spoke to the members present.  Linda had never seen or heard anything as wonderous as this before and was truly impressed by the event.  She  introduced herself to Ray and commented on how wonderful it had been to hear Lin Chan’s words.  This was in fulfillment of another part of the Christophorus prophetic writings.

 

WHILST attending the Services Linda received messages of encouragement from various sources telling her to have confidence and not to hold back any more as Spirit wished to work with her and through her. 

 

SHE spoke with Ray on a number of occasions and he asked if she would like to read some of the philosophical writings he had received from Brother Christophorus.  She accepted them enthusiastically and felt that they were wonderful and was able to understand them fully.

 

On Friday 27th March 1987 Ray has been inspired by Guidance to give Linda a folder which contained a number of pieces of his prophetic writings which he received in 1982, and which Jim had witnessed coming through at that time.  These proved to be key triggers to the full awakening of Linda’s soul.  Alongside the philosophy, certain pieces contained cryptic descriptions of the twin spirit with whom Ray was destined to share the remainer of his Spiritual Life and Linda KNEW WITHOUT QUESTION as she read these writings that she was the one. 

 

RAY had been guided to share the writings of Brother Christophorus with others, but had been forbidden by Guidance to actively seek or encourage a relationship with anyone, as the realisation and acknowledgement of the true twin spirit was to arise from within the spirit of the companion-to-be herself.  Linda was greatly afraid, and other than Ray, spoke of it to no-one. 

 

                                                              SAINT PETER

 

ON Sunday 29th March 1987 whilst sitting in meditation at home Linda experienced a physical manifestation, which felt almost like an aeroplane zooming and vibrating over her head, but also within her very being.  It was not an aeroplane though, it was a statue of a man with tight curly hair and a beard sitting on a throne-like structure which stood on a plinth.  Although she did not know it at the time, this turned out to be the statue of Saint Peter holding the keys to the Christian Church.  It was recognised by Linda when Ray was guided to take her to Buckfast Abbey in Devon where a replica of this statue resides.  Images of Saint Peter also appeared in certain Maryvale photographs taken when Ray returned and took Linda on pilgrimage there in 1987. 

 

 

 

                                                   MIRACULOUS RESCUE

 

LINDA ran out of petrol on Sunday 19th April 1987 on the way home from Church.  She was stranded in the car with her mother with no phone (it was pre-mobile phone era) and no petrol can and no petrol station in sight.  At the same time in the Church Ray received the warning sound in his ear that is spoken of in the Christophorus writings, and he knew that Linda was in distress.  He travelled in the direction that she would normally drive home and saw her car stranded on the road and helped her to get some petrol. 

 

 

 

                                              SPIRIT MANIFESTATION

 

ON Friday 24th April Linda and Ray sat in Church Circle.  During the meditation a great power manifested itself through Linda.  Following the Circle it was stated that people saw a cockerel and other images linked with Saint Peter.  Ray was greatly moved and supportive of Linda and as it was part of God's plan for their lives, their bond grew closer and closer. 

 

 

 

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO 

 

LADY OF THE TRUE RING

ON Thursday 30 April 1987 Linda reached a point of no return and left her old life behind.  She and Ray declared their love and devotion one for the other and their true dedication and total commitment to the Spiritual calling that was upon them, wherever that may lead. 

THE prophetic writings named Ray's Twin Spirit the "Lady of the True Ring" as, like the Cinderella story, she would be the one whose finger would fit the ring which once graced his beloved mother's hand.  As he placed the ring upon Linda's finger he told her of the prophesy, and it did fit, perfectly.  Yet another piece of the spiritual puzzle put into place.   

 

 

THE BIRTH OF THE HOME OF GOD

IN their early days together, Ray and Linda were led to Harborne Church where they met friends Anne Cameron, Des and Mavis Bird and Sheila and Mick Billingham.  They all got on well and sat in Circle together at Anne’s home.  During 1989, after they had developed and grown a solid bond between them Lin Chan said it was time for them to create their own Temple to be built By Spirit For Spirit.  Many many miracles were performed on their behalf to bring about God’s will, but here are just a few.

 

SECURE THE BUILDING

DURING one of their meditation circles Ray was shown the image of a building he had been guided to look at some years before when he was driving in Erdington.  Lin Chan at that time had said to him - "Turn left" (into Edwards Road)....."Stop" (he parked in the only space available)....."Look".....Ray saw 1A Edwards Road which was boarded up and in very bad condition.  he did not know why Lin Chan had led him there, and thought no more of it at that time, but had stored it in his memory.

 

WHEN years later he was prompted by Lin Chan to create the church, an approach was made to the owners of the property which was still empty and boarded up, and they stated the terms and conditions of any occupancy.  At the end of the day with great encouragement from Lin Chan and Brother Christophorus, the Group secured the rental of the building and obtained the keys on 1 October 1989 and following the reconnection of services to the building they began the formidable task of bringing the internal structure of the near derelict building to an acceptable standard. 

 

ALTHOUGH at this stage without funds or planning permission, they were told through Lin Chan to proceed in all confidence in the knowledge that their many needs would be met.  What an adventure that was!  Planning Permission was, of course, granted and the church opened its doors for public worship on 1 January 1990.  The building was also registered as a Place of Worship and obtained Registration with the Charity Commission.

 

 

FIND THE CHAIRS

WHEN the appropriate time arrived, whilst at their place of work, Lin Chan spoke to Ray saying “the time is now for you to get chairs for the people to sit upon, you will know where”.  Their business neighbour was a scrap merchant, so logic took over and an approach was made to him by Ray.  Fred, the proprietor was very dismissive saying that he NEVER saw any stacking chairs ANYWHERE, but Ray, knowing the ways and workings of Spirit, asked him just to listen out for information.  Two days later the scrap merchant came into their yard and Ray and Linda went out to meet him.  Fred's words were ”you will never believe this…..” when he was jovially interrupted by Ray with “…..Oh yes we will”!

AT this he said he had been asked as a special assignment to clear a disused canteen where he had been told there were stacking chairs but as the place had been unroofed for three years he thought they would be of no use.  At this he was encouraged to bring some samples back for Ray and Linda to see.

THREE days later he returned with three very dirty chairs with the seats and backs off, and again was very pessimistic.   But Ray said to him they could be refurbished - (Linda had experience with re-upholstery) - it was the cost of the chairs that mattered.   Linda had already found out that at that time reclamation firms charged around £12 to £15 each for second hand chairs which could not possibly be funded by the group.  Ray asked him how much he would get for them from the main scrap dealers.  He thought, and said about £0.50 pence each.  Ray asked him if he would let the group have them for the same amount instead.  He still didnot feel that they were re-cycleable, but reluctantly accepted this as a possibility. 

RAY pressed the matter as to how many chairs would be available.  He knew from the Fire Officer who had by then inspected the church building that it could seat 60 people.   His reply was that he knew that there were 44 chairs of the type he had shown Ray, and there were also 16 plastic stacking chairs, which by anyone’s calculations equalled 60 - the right number of chairs at a very good price which could be funded by the group.

THE chairs were all lovingly restored with plenty of elbow grease and cleaning solution, a pot of paint and a set of Linda's old draylon curtains which provided sufficient fabric for all of the chair seats and back rests.  The backs of the back rests were covered with off-cuts from the carpet you are about to read about.

 

 FIND THE CARPET

  IN the same way one Monday morning returning home from a weekend stay over with Ann, Ray was directed by Lin Chan not to travel the usual way, but to go back through town.  No explanation was given as to why.  The journey took them through Kings Heath.  As they came to the junction of Cateswell Road and Warwick Road they saw a large sign on a shop which said "Ex-exhibition carpet for sale.  Linda shouted in excitement for Ray to stop the car.  She went straight to the shop whilst Ray parked, and as he entered the shop the owner was saying "my dear, you will be able to have what you want at a price you can well afford".   

HE also said that from their measurements, two of his rolls of carpet would be sufficient, but to make sure, he had a roll which appeared to be very dirty which they could have free of charge.  As they were collecting the carpet in their company's pick-up truck he also gave them three large bails of compressed fire resistant foam.  The cost of the carpet was £20, and when opened out the dirty roll was dirty only for a little over 10ft leaving a further 33ft of virtually brand new carpet with only 8 pad marks where a stand had protected it! God’s Gift!?   But later Linda also sold the bails of foam to a toy manufacturer, for Guess what? !£20!

 

 

 

MIRACULOUS CLOUD OF GLORY

IT was agreed by the Trustees that the Church logo should be based upon the ancient Christian fish symbol, and Linda was responsible for its design and production and for its incorporation into the Church stationery and main Church banner signage.        ONE evening following completion of the sign logo Ray and Linda were travelling on the motorway to Telford.  Suddenly, looming over their heads they noticed a fantastic cloud formation which appeared to them as a Christ-like figure releasing a dove.  As they were travelling to visit relatives who were on holiday from America, Linda “just happened” to have the camera with her and took a series of photographs as they travelled along.  When these photographs were developed, they were amazed to find that the ancient Christian fish symbol was formed at the base of the cloud.  They have always known that God was speaking to them personally through His “Cloud of Glory”, ordaining them to do their Church Ministry.  These photographs are still available to see, and an enlarged copy graces the Church wall to this day.

 

 

SPIRIT WINDS OF CHANGE

THROUGHOUT this time, Ray and Linda were always taught through Guidance that they should not  resist  the “Spirit Winds of change”  which if accepted  would bring about the natural evolution of the spiritual man and his work for God.  These winds of change swept fiercely in January 2011 when they learnt that after 21 years of occupany at 1A Edwards Road, the tenancy was to be terminated.  Spirit Guidance remained steadfast however in its call that Erdington Christian Spiritualist Church must go forward and despite at the same time having been diagnosed with an advanced life threatening illness, Ray was led to the new building at 44 Station Road, Erdington, on Good Friday 2011.

HAVING completed his tasks upon the earth plane, Ray returned to the Brotherhood in the World of  Spirit  on 31 July 2011 leaving Linda to ensure the successful transition of the Church to its new Home,  and continue the spiritual work that they have been charged by the Spirit to do in this lifetime together.    

IT has been the greatest privilege of Ray and Linda to bear witness to the many miracles that unfolded before their eyes and to watch God's promises come about.  This Little Church, by the miracle of its very existence, brings the Christian Spiritualist message of faith and courage to all who answer their calling to follow the pathway of Spirit Guidance, and who seek an example of what such faith in Guidance can achieve.

In Loving Tribute

to the man his Guides called their "Beloved Brother"

and my beloved Twin Spirit, Raymond Wilson.

Returned to the World of Spirit 31 July 2011

Forever united in Spirit

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