Spiritualists’ National Union

North Yorkshire District

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The Spiritualists’ Lyceum Union







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The formation of the British Lyceum movement:

The first British Lyceum in the UK was opened in Nottingham in 1866, with a second one in 1870 in Keighley. A third followed in 1874 at Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax. In the early days there was a lack of education, both mental and physical, for children as well as adults. Lyceums were places for children and adults to come together and learn.

The British Spiritualists’ Lyceum Union was formed when there was a coming together of the various Lyceums that sprang up in the succeeding years. The Lyceum became known as the British Spiritualists’ Lyceum Union.  In 1948 the BSLU became a Branch of the SNU and was incorporated into the SNU as the Spiritualists’ Lyceum Union.




Lyceums in North Yorkshire District


Alfred Kitson Lyceum (Ossett)

Minister Nora Stringer 6 Elmwood Grove Hobury WF4 5JJ


Awakening Inner Child Lyceum (Grimsby)

Mrs Jackie Danson, 119 Sutcliffe Avenue, Grimsby DN33 1EZ


Crystal Waters Lyceum (Normanton)

Minister Jenny Peacock, 25 Beechwood Close Sherburn-in -Elmet. LS25 6HT


Safe Harbour Lyceum (Scarborough)

Mrs Mary Gledhill Flat 9, The Miltons, 18 Alma Square, Scarborough YO11 1JR


Sowerby Bridge Lyceum (Sowerby Bridge)

Mrs Kathryn Crossley, 42 Warley Town Lane, Warley Halifax HX2 7SA



© 2016 Spiritualists National Union North Yorkshire District Council.

All rights reserved.

The Spiritualists` Lyceum Union was founded in 1890 following conversations between Emma Hardinge Britten and Alfred Kitson. The movement became the British Spiritualists` Lyceum Union until 1948, when it became a Branch of the Spiritualists` National Union. It remains a branch of the SNU to the present day.


How did Lyceums begin?

The formation of Lyceums in America and the UK was inspired by Andrew Jackson Davis, an American visionary and lecturer, who in 1863 spoke of the benefit of training youngsters in both worldly and spiritual matters. He was called in his time the ‘Poughkeepsie Seer’. Whilst living in Poughkeepsie, he developed the ability to go into a trance state and could demonstrate his psychic ability. He called his altered state of consciousness the ‘superior condition’ and it is said to have induced within him a ‘very active and intense psychic ability’.  In New York in January 1863 he gave a lecture to a Spiritualist audience and described a vision he had when in one of his ‘superior condition’ states of consciousness. He described seeing spirit children being taught and trained in the spirit world and suggested that a similar system of learning would be of great benefit to children on the earth. This lecture inspired some members of the audience and they established the first ‘Children’s Progressive Lyceum’