Places available at residential training conference on Deliverance Ministry

11th May 2023

The healing ministry of the church includes dealing with the effect of paranormal and supernatural encounters.

Two places are available on a residential training conference in Deliverance Ministry from 6-9 June this year in Swanwick.  Funding is available for members of clergy who may wish to explore this form of healing ministry. Revd Julian Laurence, Bishop's Deliverance Adviser, hopes to build up a diocesan Deliverance Ministry team. He says the course will enable people to explore Deliverance Ministry and will help discern whether they are both called and able to do it. He explains more about Deliverance Ministry.

What is Deliverance Ministry?

Deliverance Ministry is about delivering people from difficult paranormal situations. It’s a very difficult thing to describe. As we all know, we’re made up of two parts, spiritual and physical. We have things which affect the physical side of things which, when they go wrong, need a bit of healing. Similarly, when things go wrong with our spiritual side, they need a bit of healing as well. There are both spiritual and physical human beings and most of the time these two aspects to our being run in parallel, side by side, quite happily. But just occasionally, for some people, there’s a little bit of a blip in one or the other which causes things to go off course and the Deliverance Ministry is part of trying to put things back on the straight and narrow. So, it might be looking at a physical cause or it might be looking at a spiritual cause, or it might be looking at a mixture of both of them.

What is the role of clergy in Deliverance Ministry?

What we actually do with in the Deliverance Ministry is first of all look very carefully at the story. I, as a Deliverance Adviser, am the first port of call, via the clergy, to see how things can be helped. It’s a requirement that all Deliverance Ministry has to be registered through me. So I’m here as Deliverance Adviser to offer advice to the parishes and the clergy. I’m not the ‘diocesan ghostbuster’, the one that does all the sorting out. I’m here as a resource to the clergy and the bishop, by providing suitable liturgies, advice, support and, if necessary, I will attend a particular situation and assist with the parish priest, whose ministry it is primarily. I say this because they have the cure of souls for the people in their parish, and the responsibility, as well as the pleasure, of being able to minister them in the longer term than me just coming in for one session and then disappearing. So, it’s important the ministry is done within the context of prayer, the sacraments, and the pastoral ministry of the church. 

How can people discern whether this ministry is for them?

There are tools of the trade that can be used. One of the ways we can find out what is available is through the normal clergy ministerial development programme. Every so often there is a residential conference which is hosted by the lead bishop for safeguarding in the Church of England, Bishop Peter Eagles who’s the Bishop of Sodor and Man. This year there will be a residential conference in Swanwick in Derbyshire on 6-9 of June. The bishop and the training department have made funding available for 4 people to go and I have 2 places available.

It’s not a glamorous job, it’s hard work, and physically and spiritually demanding. To be considered for membership of the Deliverance Team, there needs to be a process of discernment, and all people have to be approved by the bishop, whose ministry I and others share in. Part of the discernment process may be going to conferences and finding out more of what it involves. For the individual, you need to be strong spiritually, well-settled in your faith and understanding, have gifts of pastoral care and discernment. So you need to have a basic understanding of psychology and how people tick, and be able to interpret what they say and pick out the important business, and be able to work collaboratively, both with the Deliverance Ministers and with the medical professionals.

How valuable would it be to attend the course for someone who is considering this Ministry?

It's a vocational job, like all areas of ministry. If someone were to go on the course and find out more about what is involved, that would help them discern whether they think they are both called and able to do it. After the course, It’s not a glamorous job, it's very hard work and very demanding, and you need to be able to react because, unlike other aspects of ministry, it’s very much reactive rather then proactive. You can’t plan for someone who will be in need of some form of Deliverance Ministry. 

The Deliverance Ministry itself could be of a place, maybe an uneasy feeling in the physical area. It may be a particular context such as the home, or even a church. It may be with the individual. Part of the ministry is very much reassurance and calming down, taking the heat out of the situation so people can stand back, and talk about things. We also need to be able to work collaboratively with others, and be acute ourselves in understanding and interpreting. 

What will the course offer people?

I hope people come out of it with their imaginations stirred and prayerfully consider whether, ‘This is not for me, I haven’t got the time, the physical or the spiritual resources to do it, it’s not what I thought it would be’, or it might be ‘This is something I’m still interested in’, and very often people have, in the course of their ministry, encountered deliverance issues and have dealt with them, because defining what is Deliverance Ministry is actually very tricky. So it may be, ‘Oh hang on, yes, I suppose that was Deliverance Ministry I did.’ It may be something that was a burgeoning interest and it just needs a final little prod. Or it’s something about which people are thinking, ‘It’s something I want to know more about’, and are happy to be involved in. 
My involvement formally with the Deliverance Ministry came through attending one of the Deliverance Advisers courses and speaking to them afterwards and saying, ‘I think I have some interest and some skills in this’ and being willing to explore the possibility of learning more and being involved in the team. 

If you would like to find out more or would like to attend the course in Swanwick please email Revd Julian Laurence Bishop's Deliverance Adviser 


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