Come to Me: Healing Day draws crowds to Southwark Cathedral

Deacon Neil with the Blessed Sacrament at a healing event. Photo by Emily Newton.

Neither the COVID scare nor the havoc on the rail system last Saturday (February 19) stopped people from attending the day of healing at St George’s Cathedral organized by the Charismatic Diocesan Communion Service of Southwark (CDSC ).

According to acting dean Fr Francis, it was the fullest the cathedral had been since the lockdown began. Over 670 people registered for the event with others like the Missionaries of Charity down the street simply showing up on the day. The whole day was broadcast live, resulting in an additional 2,000 people watching the event online in the first 48 hours. (See link below).

The theme of the day was “Come to me”. Although advertised as a day of healing, the message from all speakers was to come to Jesus himself, rather than simply asking for healing from a specific disease. As Father Joseph Edattu VC, the director of the Divine Retreat Center in Ramsgate, said in his homily during the final mass: “If you come only for physical healing, your knee might be healed this week, but it will be your back. who will go next week, but if you come for Jesus, he will be with you all the time.”

The Reverend John Ryeland, an Anglican, and the director of the Christian Healing Mission encouraged listeners to realize that Christ lives within each of them so they can all be healing agents for those around them. Meanwhile, Alice Hall, a lay missionary from the Zion community, spoke about the Unbound deliverance ministry and how people can be freed from their wounds and destructive behavior. Five priests were also there and there were queues of people wanting to confess. So many in fact that even if some priests spent three hours in the confessional, not all who wanted to were able to receive the sacrament.

The Reverend Neil Philipson, a deacon from Southwark who led the Eucharistic healing service in the afternoon, walked up and down the base of the shrine blessing people individually with the Lord in the monstrance. He commented: “There was so much reverence and faith in the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. You could see in people’s eyes the love they had for the Lord. Some were sobbing or holding up pictures of their loved ones on their phones. They had come not just for themselves, but brought others in their hearts with them. I remember one person lifting a picture on their phone of someone in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of them. It was very moving for me personally. I felt it was a great privilege to bring the Lord to them in this way.”

There was also an opportunity for the laying on of hands and healing prayer by 11 teams of people in the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral. Neil commented: “Lines of people kept coming and going. There was so much pain and suffering. Many had lost spouses during the lockdown. I would have liked to spend more time with each one but we could only pray for about five minutes or so, but I know that everyone that came forward was blessed in some way.

The day was the first event organized by the new Charismatic Diocesan Communion Service in Southwark, made up of different charismatic groups and networks who joined with the former Charismatic Diocesan Service Team to form the new body. Liz Corcoran, MC for the day, thanked members of these various groups which included Jesus Youth, Charismatic Catholic Prayer Groups of All Nations, Jesus Risorto, Divine Retreat Center, Mothers Prayers, Cells parish evangelism, which had served in so many different ways in making the event possible and therefore smooth running. The team’s next project in conjunction with the Southwark Agency for Evangelism and Catechesis will be the Life in the Spirit online seminars during the Eastertide period. (More information to come soon.)

Watch the service here:

Key words: Charismatic Renewal, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Healing, Father Joseph Edattu, Emily Newton, Rev Neil Philipson, CHARIS, Alice Hall, St George’s Cathedral, Archbishop John Wilson

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