This book records seven years of conversations with the spirit of St. Stephen the Martyr, between 1974-80, Thomas Ashman, being the channel. The experience began in Tunbridge Wells, in the UK when Ashman’s wife Olive heard him say, in his sleep, Sic Ecclesia Spiritus Sanctus, “Thus in the Church is the Holy Spirit”. Although he had not been a medium before, Ashman, was able to go into deep trance, and allow Stephen to communicate with Olive.
Almost on that same day, the Rev Michael Cocks in Christchurch New Zealand, was handed a book of hand written prophecies from a stranger, prophesying what was to come. Three months later the Ashmans moved to NZ, and almost immediately synchronicity had Michael meeting Thomas and Olive, and joining with others in a group questioning Stephen.
Stephen’s teaching is in line with that of the Gospel of St. John, the Sermon on the Mount, the Perennial Philosophy, the Stoics, and with the thinking of some leading modern theoretical physicists. It is close to modern Franciscan teaching.
Stephen focuses so much on Christianity’s heart, that Evangelicals, Charismatics, Catholics, and Liberal Christians alike, could accept his spiritual guidance, and be led ever deeper in life in Christ.
This Christ, while revealed in organised religion, is in all, through all, and above all.
Many kinds of internal evidence, and the very spirituality have led linguists, scientists, theologians, and philosophers to affirm that the teaching is genuinely Stephen’s.
That he made himself known, and taught, in itself speaks volumes about the resurrection, and the reality of life in Spirit.
His teaching relates to the main themes of Christianity: the Fall, the Cross, the Atonement, Salvation, Life in Christ, the Communion of Saints, Grace, Holy Spirit, Guidance, and Love. He teaches from the point of view of Spirit. His theology is close to that of St John. Yet Christ is universal, and not confined to Christianity.
More information can be found at www.thegroundoffaith.net/stephen
About the author
All my forebears were early immigrants into Canterbury, New Zealand, between 1840-60, one a Scottish farmer, another a German businessman, another an owner of a stock and station firm, another, great-grandfather Bromley Cocks, was an early Anglican clergyman. My grandfather John, my father Maurice and I, have also been devout but open-minded parish clergy. (The last five years of my ministry were as British Chaplain in Gothenburg, Sweden.) Three generations of us have honours degrees in philosophy, my father and I belonged to the UK Modern Churchman’s Union, and have been interested in the mystics of all religions. I read theology at Oxford, at St Catherine’s, and at Ripon Hall, a Modernist theological college, and in vacation time, lived with its former principal, Canon Dr H D A Major and his wife Mary.
An incident in 1932 may have started my intense interest in the psychic: a pine plantation around our vicarage at Mount Somers caught fire. One of those helping to fight the fire, died. At the height of the fire my grandmother in Christchurch, a hundred miles away, put in a toll call to ask what the trouble was. For whatever reason, throughout my childhood, adolescence and as a young man, I was obsessed by the belief that psychical research was the way to prove the reality of Spirit. I was aided and abetted by a great-aunt whose guiding light was the work of Emmanuel Swedenborg.
In 1973 I was the Anglican vicar of a parish in Christchurch, New Zealand, when one day an acquaintance knocked on the door. She had come down from the North Island partly to deliver to me a hand-written book of prophecies, the product of a woman unknown to me who once had belonged to the Plymouth Brethren. There were about a hundred pages of these prophecies, largely based on the Book of Revelation, casting me in the role of one of the Two Witnesses in Chapter 11 of the book. She had plainly taken immense pains with her prophecies and my acquaintance had incurred the loss of time and money to bring them to me. I hope that I received the gift graciously and acknowledged the caring and depth of belief which prompted it.
All the same I could not regard it as other than the product of irrationality.
And yet, on the other hand, I found out later that the gift was almost simultaneous with Stephen the Martyr’s first words to my friend Olive Ashman, through her husband, Thomas, who, although not previously aware of his mediumistic abilities, was in trance. They were living at the time in Sevenoaks, Kent.
Three months later, the strangest circumstances were to have me talking with Stephen in New Zealand. In the meantime the Ashmans had come to live in Christchurch and I had met Olive in a psychic library that I on a whim had visited. She talked to me about Stephen and I was interested to find out more. When I eventually learned that Stephen and the prophecies had come together in time, and had reflected on how I had come to talk with him myself, multidimensional reality appeared more and more strange, for many of those weird prophecies had close parallels with Stephen’s teachings.
A private group with varying membership, meeting almost 200 times over a period of eight years, asked him many questions, some of which can be read in Afterlife teaching from Stephen the Martyr. Concurrent with these conversations, were complicated and overwhelming synchronicities, which seemed to underline and reinforce what Stephen was saying. The whole Stephen experience brought many of us to view reality in a very different way, and indeed from the point of view of the mystics.
Of course, the Stephen experience has only intensified my interest in psychic research, and research into the nature of the reality to which the world’s great religions point.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published October 2011
Size: 229 x 152 mm