Book Reviews

In this section, you will find descriptions and reviews of books about the healing ministry and related areas of ministry, spirituality and pastoral care. There are few books or resources which concentrate solely on prayer ministry for healing. Furthermore, without knowing the context in which the ministry is being carried out one can only offer general suggestions for reading and reflection.
The following titles may be of interest and should be available online, such as through the Church House Bookshop,, or your local bookshop. Used copies of older publications and classic reference works in good condition are often available at much reduced prices via second-hand booksellers on the Internet.

Shrines of the Saints: in England and Wales

Paperback 200pps. Canterbury Press, Norwich 2016.
ISBN-10: 1848258429 and ISBN-13: 978-1848258426. Price new £19.99

AVAILABLE FROM Canterbury Press and other booksellers

shrines of the saints

The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, Dean of Hereford Cathedral, explores the history and the present day significance of the shrines to the saints that can be found in many cathedrals and abbeys, and in places such as Walsingham, Dorchester, and other local pilgrimage destinations.

He tells the story of the central place that shrines, relics and devotion to the saints held in medieval religion, and the growth of shrines as places of prayer, healing and pilgrimage. As today's cathedrals and sacred places welcome record numbers of visitors and pilgrims, this book asks what roles shrines might play in contemporary spirituality.

A Time to Heal:
A Contribution Towards the Ministry of Healing

Paperback 432pps. Church House Publishing, London 2010.
ISBN-13: 9780715110492. Price new £19.99

AVAILABLE FROM Church House Publishing and other booksellers

a time to heal

A Time to Heal, published by Church House Publishing in 2000 on behalf of the Church of England's House of Bishops, continues to be the most significant report on the healing ministry in the Church of England in the last 60 years. Research for the report covered not only the state of this ministry in the Church of England, but also within our ecumenical partners. Further research in 2005 and 2010 affirmed that the report continues to represent the most significant aspects of this ministry within the Church of England. A Time to Heal is a valuable resource for anyone interested in this ministry, with chapters covering for example, 'The Healing Ministry in Professional Health Care Settings', 'the Impact of Limitation and Illness', 'Healing for Those who are Dying or Bereaved' and 'Complementary Medicine and Alternative Approaches to Healing and Good Health'.

Extensive recommendations include advice about how to develop the Healing Ministry in the Parish. One of the prime objectives of the report was and continues to be encouraging good practice in this ministry, through promotion of the House of Bishops' Guidelines for Good Practice in the Healing Ministry.

NOTE: Associated with the main report is A Time to Heal: the Development of Good Practice in the Healing Ministry — A Handbook, also published by Church House Publishing.

Prayers for Healing

By David Adam, Rupert Bristow, Nick Fawcett, Susan Sayers and Ray Simpson.
Paperback. Kevin Mayhew 2012. ISBN-13: 978-1848675926. Price new £8.99.

AVAILABLE FROM Kevin Mayhew and other booksellers

Prayers for Healing

This book is a valuable compilation of 300 prayers from a wide range of books written by these authors. The prayers, which are suitable for both personal and group prayer, draw upon a wide range of Christian traditions and styles of prayer for healing, comfort and thanksgiving, in a wide range of contexts. It is one of the most comprehensive and accessible contemporary prayer resources for the healing ministry to be published in recent years.

NOTE: Comprised of other resources produced by these authors are two similar books: Prayers for Joy and Thanksgiving and Prayers for Comfort. For more details go to Kevin Mayhew

Pocket Prayers for Healing

Compiled by Trevor Lloyd. Paperback 96pp. Church House Publishing 2004, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0715143094. RRP £6.99.

AVAILABLE FROM Church House Publishing and other booksellers

Pocket Prayers for Healing

Including some of Trevor Lloyd's own prayer resources, Pocket Prayers for Healing is exactly what it claims to be: a small book packed with uplifting prayers that will refresh weary spirits and bring peace and solace to all who are sick or suffering, whether in hospital or coping with debilitating illness or difficulties in their daily lives.

For sleepless nights, anxious days, for family and friends in need of prayer, for hope, for peace and troubled minds and in thanksgiving for every good gift, this collection of prayers covers a wide range of needs and occasions. Its compact size makes it an ideal resource for pastoral ministry and for personal use.

NOTE: Pocket Prayers for Healing is one of a series of Pocket Prayer books on a wide range of topics, including Pocket Prayers for Children, Pocket Prayers for Commuters and Pocket Prayers for Marriage and Pocket Words of Comfort by Christopher Herbert, which is another valuable resource for the healing ministry.

How to Pray
Alone, with others, at any time in any place

By Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford. Paperback 176pp.
Church House Publishing; 3rd Revised edition 2010.
ISBN-13: 978-0715142226. RRP £8.99.

AVAILABLE FROM Church House Publishing and other booksellers

How to Pray

This book offers advice and encouragement to complete beginners and for those who feel their prayer journey is flagging. It offers suggestions about how to explore ways to start, to renew and to expand our experiences of prayer, drawing on ancient as well as contemporary spiritual wisdom. Previously published under the title Praying through Life, the third edition (2010) of this book is published by Church House Publishing, incorporating up-to-date resources and references.

In the preface, Bishop Stephen writes: "my prayer for the book remains the same. I hope it helps people to pray. I hope it shows people how. I don't want people to talk about prayer, but to actually get on with the dogged, painful, delightful, challenging business of actually praying, of weaving prayer into daily life, of living life with God" (ix, x).

NOTE: You can find more information on prayer, including prayers for healing and prayers for peace and protection on our Prayer pages

The Intercessions Handbook

By John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford. Paperback 176pp. SPCK Publishing 2011.
ISBN-13: 978-0281065028. Price new £9.99.

AVAILABLE FROM SPCK and other booksellers

The Intercessions Handbook

This book is packed with creative ideas for public and private prayer. Originally published in 1997, it was reissued in 2011 by SPCK. In the foreword, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton wrote: "In his own ministry, Jesus spoke about the importance of intercession on many occasions. Whether one thinks of the Sermon on the Mount, his parables or his private talks with his disciples, encouragements to them to learn to intercede are never far away." This handbook is a valuable resource to be referred to time and again, whether for personal or for group inspiration for prayers of intercession, for ourselves, for each other and for the world. It offers advice about the challenges of intercession, intercession in public worship, in all-age worship, in small groups and in personal prayer.

NOTE: You may also be interested in the author's follow-up to this book, The Second Intercessions Handbook. Published in 2004, it is available from Amazon and other booksellers at £6.99.

Further Reading

Please see the sidebar for suggestions for further reading on the Church's healing ministry

This reading list is designed for everyone who has an interest in these ministries and would like to find out more about them. This list is a fairly comprehensive (although not exhaustive) list of books which represent contributions from a range of traditions.
The suggested titles provide a foundation on which to build, cover a range of expressions of this ministry and helps to put it in perspective within the wider mission and ministry of the Church, professional healthcare and related areas: many titles relate to several areas.