The Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott commissioned the Reverend Sarah Chapman as Canterbury Diocesan Advisor in Healing and Wholeness at a special service in St Mary’s church Nonington on Sunday.
During the service the Sarah was also licensed as the Chaplain to the Living Well, the Diocesan healing resource centre in Nonington.
The congregation attending the service, which formed part of celebrations for St Lukestide, included Trustees of The Living Well, members of the local community and worshippers from Sarah’s previous parish of Bitterne Park in Southampton.
Sarah, 57, trained as an Occupational Therapist and specialized in mental health before becoming ordained a priest in the Chichester Diocese in 1994. Sarah’s background in healing ministry has included ministering with the team at the Acorn Healing Trust in Bordon and working with the Reverend Doctor Russ Parker, a writer and theologian who teaches on issues connected to Christian healing and healthcare.
Preaching at the service, Bishop Trevor described how Jesus’ ministry of healing involved cherishing people as individuals and recognising God in each person. “We live in a world that seeks to categorize people and in doing so this absolves our responsibility to care for someone else.” He continued: “The healing ministry entrusted to us, calls us not to categorise people, but to cherish them.”
After the official licensing and commissioning element of the service, Sarah was welcomed to her new roles by representatives from the Local Church Development Framework in Canterbury Diocese, trustees of The Living Well and ecumenically by the local Catholic Priest, Father Jeff Cridland.
Sarah will live and work at The Living Well, working with a team to offer one to one support and ministry, a range of one-off sessions, short courses and training for clergy and laity involved with the healing ministry. Details and event information can be found at: www.the-living-well.org.ukEnds
Photo shows: Revd Sarah Chapman with Bishop Trevor Willmott outside St Mary’s Nonington.
Further information from:
Emily Shepherd, Director of Communications, Diocese of Canterbury: 01227 459 401, 07876 210 446, firstname.lastname@example.org