Ministry of Deliverance
Licensed Clergy are sometimes asked to deal with the kind of phenomena or occurrences, real or perceived, which may require ‘deliverance ministry’.
These phenomena include the situations which are sometimes called ‘hauntings’ and ‘possessions’ but which are commonly experienced as feelings of oppression in a person or in a place. It is the work of the local Rector, Vicar or Priest in Charge to meet the persons experiencing such things and to offer them support, comfort and care.
However, it is a longstanding Diocesan policy that more specific ministry, known as the Ministry of Deliverance, or any activity which may be understood as such, will only be undertaken by specially trained ministers, selected and appointed by the Bishop for this task.
Persons seeking such ministry are nearly always frightened and vulnerable, consequently they, and those who minister to them, require special care. Those appointed to the Bishop’s Ministry of Deliverance Team are available at all times to advise clergy and also to attend and offer more specific ministry in those cases in which it is appropriate.
This does not conflict with the duty of the parish minister to offer normal pastoral care, including the saying of prayers with the individuals concerned or the blessing of rooms or a house, which is often sufficient. Any more specific or sensitive ministry, including anything which amounts to, or may be perceived as an exorcism of a place or a person, requires the involvement of a member of the Bishop’s Ministry of Deliverance Team and may not be undertaken by the parish minister.
More detailed guidance for clergy is available in the leaflet issued by the Diocese, which is available to parish ministers from the Diocesan Office or the Bishop of Ely’s Secretary.
Members of the public seeking the assistance of the Church of England should initially always contact their parish minister i.e. their Rector, Vicar or Priest in Charge. In the event of a vacancy, enquiries should be directed to the Rural Dean.
During office hours, parish ministers should contact the Bishop’s House (01353 662749) for advice and the contact details of an available team member. Out of office hours, parish ministers should contact their Rural Dean, who has details of the nearest team member.