I wonder if you caught the program on BBC 2: City in the Sky? It shows the fascinating details of how planes get airborne and how meals are served at 15000ft. It went into both the science of flight and the logistics of air travel, to unpick what it really takes for you to get from A to B. In the closing sequence, it shows passengers flying in the sky without the plane around them – a vertigo inducing computer generated Image of hundreds of people hurtling through the air leaving the viewer to contemplate what each one of them is unknowingly relying on to get to their destination.
We usually don’t notice the processes and tools that make life happen, until they stop working. Whether it is your mobile telephone, the washing machine or an international airport, they are taken for granted until the battery runs out, the kitchen is flooded or your baggage doesn’t turn up on the carousel. It is a similar situation with our bodies. Unless we leave behind the ‘silence of health’ and enter into the clamour and discord of illness, it is all too easy to take our precious bodies for granted. And when they do stop working properly, our fragility is obvious to all, including to ourselves.
At this point in the directorship, I am still getting to know the background and history that have kept the Guild running over the years. As I get up to speed, reviewing publications and communications systems, and laying plans for the future, I would like to ask that you hold me in your prayers as our exciting future begins to be mapped out. But do not fear, it is business as usual while these background processes are happening – we are continuing to produce this publication, and Chrism later in the year. And on 18 October, in Worcester Cathedral (see p15), we will be holding our annual Denis Duncan lecture – which I will be delivering and Eucharist for healing as part of a varied program of workshops and events during the course of the day. I hope many of you will be able to attend.
Just last week it was half term. Thankfully, with two young children to entertain, we did not get on a plane but rather we went with my husband’s parishioners to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in North Norfolk. Each week, the Shrine welcomes hundreds of pilgrims, many of whom are seeking healing through the waters of the well or through the sacraments of laying on of hands, anointing and reconciliation. It is a place that feels prayed in, where people have come for many years in the vulnerability which comes from asking for healing and help.
We are all in need of the healing love of Christ and what is exposed in the ministry of healing is the structure that undergirds all of human flourishing – the love and the grace of God. It is so easy to forget and take for granted this fundamental structure of the Christian view of life. But the gift of the ministry of healing is that these structures are not only revealed, but they become the means through which healing is found, for those who seek healing and for those who offer it.
Our Guild: our Director writes…
Healing a Community Through the Church
Quiet Day in Chester
Book Review: The Bad Christian’s Manifesto
Everyone Belongs: thoughts on Inter-Communion
Event: A Day on Healing: Worcester Cathedral
Reflection: from Revd. Elizabeth Baxter
Our Annual General Meeting