Jesus sent the disciples out to ‘preach, teach and heal’ (Luke Chapter 9), and it continues to be the work of Christians and the church today.
Access to health care and support on the journey to wholeness is the right of every individual. The definitions of health and healing are many and varied. Health is much more than the absence of disease and wholeness doesn’t mean cure, but together health and wholeness reflect the integration of body mind and spirit. To neglect any one of the three domains is to hinder wholeness and integration. There is therefore a need to care for individuals in all three aspects – body mind and spirit.
Within Churches Together in England there are three groups that encourage holistic care by providing support in the spiritual domain.
Funded by the Department of Health the Free Church Health Care Chaplaincy Steering Committee brings together the churches who are members of the Free Churches Group engaged in Chaplaincy to provide; support services related to the accreditation and authorisation, recruitment and appointment to employer bodies (NHS Trusts, Hospices etc); promote Free Church Chaplaincy through representation on various Chaplaincy groups and Committees; teaching and education resource for chaplaincy education programmes; ongong support for about 600 chaplains.
A forum where Christian Churches have the opportunity to share information, discuss health care chaplaincy and make recommendations; support individual chaplains and chaplaincy teams and contribute to the debate on wider health issues.
A coordinating Group of Churches Together in England, Chaired by Rev Beatrice Brandon that brings together a diverse group of people representing churches and church related groups to exchange information and promote healing ministries.