Our History

Updated: Sep 27

Based on an interview with the late Mrs Mary Pullman, a Deal Spiritualist Church Centre Management Committee member and Trustee, Reiki Healer and Energy Healer.

Mary Pullman is one of the last of the original Centre members. Her father was a medium; he was part of a small gathering of Christian Spiritualists in Deal, (mostly miners wives), who used to meet in each others houses. Anne Herbert (a forbearer of the current president of the Centre, Anne Herbert) held Spiritualist meetings above the Yew Tree Public House in Mill Hill.

One of the people that met there, a Mrs Maud Eyre (a devout medium and Energy Healer), had held local meetings and hosted energy healing (formerly known as spiritual healing) in her front parlour in Deal over the 2nd World War years. She had a dream of the Spiritualists having their own public building to meet in. Mrs Pullman became interested and involved in Spiritualism when she was only 15 years of age; her father, who was a medium, introduced Mrs Pullman to Mrs Eyre.

Prior to the appeal of the Witchcraft Act (1735) in 1947, and the subsequent introduction of the Fraudulent Mediums Act (1951) it would have been impossible to have such a centre; as recently as 1944 the medium Helen Duncan was prosecuted and imprisoned under the Witchcraft Act. Spiritualism was finally recognised as a religion with the passing of a Parliamentary Act in 1954, with the personal support of Sir Winston Churchill. (Spirit encounters website. 24/07/2006).

The First World War had been a catalyst in the development of the Spiritualist movement in the last century, in response to the terrible, brutal loss of so many young lives, and the subsequent struggles of people trying to cope with bereavement; the 2nd World War was a harrowing time when Britain initially faced Hitler and the Nazi threat alone; the people of Deal, living 8 miles from Dover, in part of “hellfire corner”, had to face death, or the fear of it, with the bombings, enemy aircraft flying overhead, and ever present shelling from Calais, only 22 or so miles away. For those civilians who remained in the area, and the servicemen that swelled the depleted population, Spiritualism, and energy healing (formerly known as spiritual healing) attracted people for the strength and comfort it could bring troubled souls.

During the 2nd World War, many of the houses in the Mill Hill area were closed up, (and were then used to hous