** The new national guidance on deliverance ministry has just been issued and we shall be updating our resources shortly **
In the Diocese of Guildford, we have a Bishop's Adviser for the Paranormal and Deliverance who is supported by an experienced, multi-disciplinary team. Their role is to support clergy in ministry relating to deliverance and the paranormal.
In the first instance, clergy must contact the Bishop’s Chaplain (please email if the telephone goes to voicemail) for referral to the Adviser.
Working with the Adviser
The Adviser’s role is to provide support that follows best practice, in line with their expertise, whilst ensuring adherence to diocesan safeguarding policies and keeping within the terms of insurance for this specific area of ministry.
- The Adviser will talk through each case and suggest appropriate forms of ministry and prayer support.
- Clergy are free to pray the peace of Christ into places and into people's lives, and to share appropriate pastoral and sacramental ministry with parishioners, but must refer to the Adviser when encountering requests and suggestions relating to ‘casting evil spirits' out of people.
- Parishioners should seek advice from their clergy, and it is the responsibility of the cleric to contact the Adviser, if appropriate. Parishioners will not be put in direct contact with the Adviser but can find their local clergy here or contact the Bishop’s Chaplain for advice.
- Continuing pastoral care and follow-up should be undertaken by the local parochial clergy.
The House of Bishop's guidelines 1975, (Revised 2012) offers guidance relating to prayer for deliverance for a person believed in some way to be 'possessed' by evil. The guidelines state that such ministry should:
- be done by experienced persons authorised by the Diocesan Bishop
- be in the context of prayer and sacrament
- be in collaboration with the resources of medicine, including doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors
- be followed up by continuing pastoral care
- have the minimum of publicity
The most recent advice is that these guidelines are not fully comprehensive of the breadth of ministry relating to unexplained noises, poltergeist activity, strange happenings, or apparitions. Neither should they restrict us in ministering to people who feel oppressed, as distinct from possessed, by evil. However, advice should always be sought.
Clergy wishing to learn more about deliverance ministry can refer to Chapter 9 of the report "A Time to Heal" (House of Bishops, Church House Publishing, 2000), and "Deliverance", edited by Michael Perry, (SPCK, 1996).