May joy, peace, and hope remain with you this Christmas

For many, the Christmas season is a source of joy, a welcome brightness in the dark, cold winter. But for many others, the holidays can bring with them a sense of loneliness, or stress, or open afresh the wounds of bereavement.


Whether you’re buzzing with excitement or burdened with care, I’d like to share this benediction from Following the Star:


Move quietly now through your day.

Joy, peace and hope remain.

Seek out the company of friends,

Remind yourself that God is near,

And allow small moments of joy to return

For the healing of your heart.

Rev Baden Stanley and Canon Susan Watterson Honoured at AGM

At CMH: Ireland’s AGM on 4th December 2012, two very special people were honoured for their work in the Ministry of Healing.


The Chairman, the Rt Rev Patrick Rooke, paid tribute to the Rev Baden Stanley, a former Chairman of CMH:I who retired from the Board earlier this year. Baden was unable to be present at the AGM, but the Chairman spoke of how Baden had given so much of himself to the role during difficult times and how greatly his contributions were appreciated by all. Baden remains a member of CMH: Ireland and a member of the Dublin & Glendalough Diocesan Committee.

The Rev Baden Stanley, former Chairman of CMH: Ireland


Also honoured at the AGM was the Rev Canon Susan Watterson, who served first as Warden and for the last five years as Training and Resources Advisor. In a farewell tribute, the Chairman remarked that Sue’s “quiet, but dependable personality, coupled with her expertise, made her ideally suited to this ministry”. Mrs Avril Gillatt presented Sue with a gift on behalf of CMH:I, thanking Sue for her constant encouragement and for “pointing and guiding us as to how we should behave as Prayer Ministers and in the Ministry of Healing”. Accepting the gift, Sue observed that in 25 years of ministry, she believed she’d learned the most from the 10 spent in the Ministry of Healing, adding, “Thank you for sharing those years with me.”


CMH: Ireland wish Baden and Sue all the very best and are grateful for their continued support of this ministry.

Chairman’s Welcome

Welcome to the website of the Church’s Ministry of Healing: Ireland. Linked to the Church of Ireland (Anglican), we are a limited company established in 2010 and based at Egan House, St Michan’s Church, Church Street, Dublin 7.


In sending out disciples, Jesus commanded them ‘Heal those who are sick and say the Kingdom of God is very near to you’ (Luke 9:10). Elsewhere in the Gospels, he commands the Apostles to teach, to preach and to heal.


The Reverend Noel Waring first established the Church’s Ministry of Healing in the Church of Ireland in 1932. In this, he received strong support and encouragement from the then Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Gregg. Over the years, CMH has been instrumental in developing and encouraging this important dimension of the Church’s wider ministry throughout Ireland. As well as its Dublin base, it developed a centre at The Mount in Belfast and other diocesan centres were established. Today, CMH: The Mount is an independent company but CMH: Ireland continues to work collaboratively with it and with all the dioceses and parishes both north and south of the political divide.


Our aims are to educate, to encourage, to co-ordinate, to provide and to resource. Although our primary responsibility is to the dioceses and parishes of the Church of Ireland, we are happy to address the needs of all those who seek healing of body, mind or spirit. We have two part-time employees; a Ministry Co-ordinator and a Ministry Facilitator. All enquiries should be addressed to them at


+Patrick Tuam:


The Use Of Oil In The Ministry Of Healing

The use of olive oil was extensive in the Old and New Testaments not only in cooking but also for medicinal purposes and in sacred ritual. Olive oil was considered a precious commodity and used sparingly. Olive trees are native to the Middle East and grow for hundreds of years. In 1 Samuel 16:13 David is anointed king of Israel. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.” this passage illustrates the sacramental nature of the use of oil in highly significant religious moments. David is chosen by God as his anointed and commissions the prophet Samuel to anoint him as king of Israel. Samuel anoints David by pouring oil over his head. The traditional definition of a sacrament states that a sacrament is the outward sign of an inward grace. In the anointing of David, described as a sacramental moment, the outward sign of the oil being poured over his head is a signification of the inward grace God is bestowing on him by anointing him as king of his people Israel


In the New Testament reference to the use of oil in sacred ritual appears in the letter of St James where he is instructing the early church. St James says to his listeners: “Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:14). Here St James refers to the healing ministry of the church as sacramental. There are three elements in this short passage about the healing ministry which give a clear image of the process of healing. First of all St James instructs: are any of you sick? Here the apostle is giving a clear statement that the church has a divine mandate from God to engage in a healing ministry to the sick. Then he continues: They should call for the elders of the church. Here the apostle is affirming that the people who are ordinarily commissioned to administer the healing are the bishops who are the elders of the church and who through the commission of their ordination are called to heal the sick. Priests of the church, who derive their priesthood from the fullness of priesthood contained in the ordination of a bishop, are commissioned by their ordinary to heal the sick and thus share in his (the bishop’s) priestly ministry.  The sacramental element of this passage is introduced by the apostle when he commissions the elders to: “pray over the sick and anoint them with oil.” This is a clear statement that all healing is an act of God. The outward signs of God’s inward healing grace at work are the laying on of hands in prayer and the anointing with holy oil.


Throughout the ages of the church the use of oil as the outward sign of God’s inner workings was synonymous with the sacrament of the sick. In the reformed tradition the seven sacraments were reduced to two namely, baptism and Eucharist. With this derogation the use of oil in the healing ministry declined with that ministry being put to the margins of religious practice. This was an unfortunate legacy of the reformation which in some cases ‘threw out the baby with the bathwater.’


Thankfully, with the 2004 prayer book and a growth in theological understanding of the ministry of healing in the church, that same ministry is being restored to its proper place in the worship and life of the church. The use of oil in the healing ministry is extensive and the administration of that oil is seen more and more as sacramental when used with prayer and the laying on of hands.  More and more diocesan bishops are celebrating the Chrism Eucharist in their diocesan cathedrals with their priests and lay ministers. At these celebrations three oils are blessed: the oil of Chrism for blessing at confirmations, ordinations and the consecration of bishops. The oil of Catechumens for the blessing of candidates for baptism and the oil of the sick for use in the ministry of healing. It is my prayer that it will become the norm as we lay hands on those who are sick asking God to send his healing Spirit on them we will also anoint them with the oil of the sick as an outward sign of God’s healing grace working within them.