The Revd Dr Gilly Bunce is the new Healing Adviser for the diocese.
Gilly works with the Diocesan Healing Advisory Group, a voluntary group within the diocese that aims to support and inspire both lay and clergy within our parishes in Christ’s work of wholeness and healing for individuals, churches and communities. The Group is chaired by Justine North and seeks to provide a prophetic voice that speaks to both the wider Church and society on matters of wholeness and healing.
A GP for 30 years, Gilly has been a priest for 12 years. She talks about her appointment and the work of the Healing Group in the latest Healing Newsletter.
“Coming into the role of Healing Advisr has been unexpected in every way, not least in the timing. Just now, it feels important to get to know the Diocesan Healing Advisory Group, what it does, how everything fits together. Covid-19 has shifted our landscape; nothing feels the same. We don’t know what the ‘new normal’ might be, or when.
“Healing often seems peripheral in our faith. We hear of Jesus and the apostles healing people. We speak of God healing through the Holy Spirit. Relatively few of us have seen or experienced dramatic healing. For many, the idea of healing is something we feel we ‘ought’ to believe. If we’re honest, we give lip service to it, rather than it being a key part of our faith: it sits uncomfortably with us.
“However, Jesus seems to do rather a lot of it. The dumb speak, the blind see, the lame dance… They experience a freedom of expression and action they have not known. They had been constrained, and now they are free; themselves, but more so.
“Having been healed, they are no longer weighed down or slowed down by the stuff they carry. When Jesus has healed people, they become full of life, amazed, rejoicing, returning to live with those they love. They are free to live in the hope which they had lost when they were sick.
“Our own experiences of healing may not be dramatic. Perhaps we asked for healing prayer, unsure what that meant. We may have found ourselves weeping or felt a gentle sense of God’s love. In becoming open to our own need of healing, we become open to God, to each other. We begin to heal, to hope.
“The Diocesan Healing Advisory Group was originally set up to enable healing to become more widely available, through prayer, learning and practice. That’s why the Healing Wells and Healing Forums were started, so that all parts of the Diocese could be resourced. Thanks to Justine and the “group members, I’m learning what has been done by so many people and looking forward to exploring together where God is taking us, and what that might look like.”