The Guild of St Raphael
The Guild of St Raphael is a Registered Charity (210258) founded in 1915. The inspiration of the founders was a profound belief that the sacramental ministry of healing had been under-used, under-valued and all too often misunderstood. They believed that there was an urgent need to restore this ministry to its rightful place in the everyday life and ministry of the Church.
The aims of the Guild of St Raphael today are:
- To unite in a fellowship of prayer those who hold the faith that Our Lord wills to work in and through His Church for the health of her members in spirit, mind and body.
- To promote the belief that God wills the conquest of disease as well as sin, through the power of the living Christ.
- To guide the sick, and those who care for them, to Christ as the source of healing.
The Guild of St Raphael was founded within the Church of England and its principal witness remains in local parishes, where the emphasis is on the practice of healing ministry. Members observe a simple rule of prayer, study and work for this ministry, aiming always to promote Christ’s ministry of healing - the healing of the whole person. The Guild of St Raphael welcomes and encourages interest and support from Christians of all denominations.
Much has changed since the founding in 1915. Few would now think of the sacramental ministry of healing as something that only happens when death draws near. Wholeness and Healing now have their place in the liturgies of the Church of England - but there remains work to do!
The Guild looks to:
- encourage all Christians to view the ministry of healing as a normal part of their life and worship;
- promote good practice in the use of healing services and especially the sacraments of healing;
- engage in research, study and reflection across the whole field of health, sickness and healing;
- share findings and experiences through our journal “Chrism” and in other appropriate ways;
- work in close co-operation with the medical profession and others engaged in the work of healing.
The Guild celebrates the gift of this ministry to the Church in an Annual Festival, which takes place in a different part of the country each year. You can find out more about the Guild of St. Raphael by visiting their website www.guildofstraphael.org.uk. You can e-mail them here or write to them at The Vicarage, 169 Church Road, Haydock, St. Helens, WA11 0NJ.
Robin Pettitt, Secretary and Treasurer of the Guild of St Raphael
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has been a Patron of the Guild of St Raphael since 2006.