An Holistic and All Encompassing Service of Healing
As believers we pray for the healing of those who are near and dear to us and, indeed, for others who are more distant but need our prayers. Christ, however, also left us with a means of healing too and ordered his disciples to do the same.
In observance of that, we offer specific prayers for healing three times a year at St James. This is a quiet, respectful and contemplative part of the 9.45am morning service where people attending are invited to come forward, either on their own or on behalf of another, for the laying on of hands and anointing, which is usually carried out by two or three members of the St James clergy.
Welcoming all believers, whether practising Christians or not, we define healing as holistic, incorporating spiritual, emotional and or physical needs.
Where can I find instances of healing in the Gospels?
The Letter of St James Chapter 5 verses 13 – 16 is often quoted.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
13 Any one of you who is in trouble should pray; anyone in good spirits should sing a psalm.
14 Any one of you who is ill should send for the elders of the church, and they must anoint the sick person with oil in the name of the Lord and pray over him.
15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person and the Lord will raise him up again; and if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.
What does the service consist of?
This takes place during the normal parish morning service at 9.45am. We ask anyone who wishes to come forward for the laying on of hands which is carried out by two or three members of the St James clergy. It also includes anointing the forehead and hands. You do not have to make yourself known to the church wardens and can simply decide even on the spur of the moment if you wish to go forward.
How many people participate on average?
Numbers can vary but it is often around twenty to thirty people. Each person, however, receives individual attention. Quite often they are not regular members of our congregation.
Can I come forward on behalf of someone else? Do I need to say so?
Yes you can come forward on behalf of someone else. Just hold the thought of them in your heart and mind. You do not need to tell us for whom you are seeking help with healing.
May I have a private service?
Yes. A member of the clergy team will always visit someone who is home bound. Contact either the Vicar or the Parish Office to make a request for a home visit.
Does attending the healing service mean I no longer have to take any medicine?
No! Our service forms part of the healing process. It is not an alternative to ordinary medical care.
Have you examples where people have benefitted from a healing service amongst your community?
Anecdotally yes. And congregation members, who have been helped in the past, are only too happy to talk about their own experience and allay any concerns you may have.
Do I have to be a regular member of the congregation?
Whilst we obviously hope you will enjoy the spiritual life of St James, it is absolutely fine to simply turn up to the Healing Service, whether or not you have visited us before. Whether or not you are a baptised Christian, you can come along. Our healing service is not a sacrament that is reserved solely for the faithful and embraces all.