BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Health
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Background Briefings 
Medical notes 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


BBC Today programme
Debate on faith healing
 real 28k

Thursday, 8 June, 2000, 08:15 GMT 09:15 UK
Church leaders encourage faith healing
Christian imagery
People will be encouraged to believe in the healing power of prayer
Anglican clergy are to be encouraged to take on a faith healing role.

The Church of England is issuing its first report in 40 years on the ministry of healing.

And while it warns that the topic must be approached with caution, it will also encourage every parish church in the country to adopt the practice.

Faith healing is a highly controversial subject, and some evangelist preachers have been accused of making unscrupulous claims that do not stand up to scrutiny.

The report, "A Time to Heal" says where physical healing does not take place, people have a need to try an emotional, psychological or spiritual approach.

Nothing predictable



Prayer is intergral to the whole process of healing

Rt Rev John Perry, Bishop of Chelmsford

But it warns that there is nothing predictable about faith healing - except the assurance of God's love and care.

It adds that the healing ministry is one of the greatest opportunities the Church has for 'sharing the Gospel'.

All Church of England clergy will receive a handbook on the development of good practice.

The report supports ecumenical co-operation in the ministry of healing and recommends improved training for clergy and laity alongside the adoption of guidelines for good practice.

Links with the medical and caring professions should be encouraged, says the report.

It also recommends the setting up of a review group to assess the compatibility with Christian teaching of widely used forms of complementary medicine and alternative therapies.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt. Rev. John Perry said the evidence that faith healing works was "overwhelming".

He said: "Prayer is intergral to the whole process of healing."

Faith healing did not substitute for traditional medicine, he said, but might complement it.

"The church has always sought to work hand in hand with those in the medical profession."

Gareth Tuckwell is a former GP who conducts healing services.

He said: "As I stand at the door and see people going out of church it is amazing how many lives are touched and, as I hear later on, are changed through the presence of Jesus in their lives."

Dennis Cobell, a nurse for 25 years and president of the Secular Society, questioned whether faith healing was offering anything more than the same positive effect that could be achieved by "the warmth of human comfort".

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

05 Jun 00 | Health
Prayer 'works as a cure'
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories