Deliverance ministry is a specialist ministry within the Church of England and constitutes one aspect of the Church of England’s commitment to bringing wholeness, peace and healing to all who experience distress, whether in body, mind or spirit. As such, deliverance ministry is pastoral, missiological and embedded in wider healing ministry.
Deliverance ministry is subject to the House of Bishops’ pastoral guidance and to the Safeguarding Code of Practice set out in Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults. A summary of the pastoral guidance is below.
If you or someone you know would like to discuss Deliverance ministry, please contact your parish priest. Details may be found at www.achurchnearyou.com
Pastoral Guidance for Deliverance Ministry may be found below.
1. Responding to Enquirers
Continuing Pastoral Care
Good pastoral practice in Deliverance ministry depends on that specific ministry being followed up with continuing pastoral care, which would normally involve the incumbent minister.
Safety and Safeguarding
All reasonable steps should be taken to ensure the safety of any person or persons providing or receiving Deliverance ministry by following the House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Guidance/Safeguarding Code of Practice 2021 on matters relating to the Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults and in consultation and collaboration with the diocesan safeguarding adviser on matters of safeguarding.
Collaboration with Resources of Healthcare, including Counselling and Psychotherapy
As set out in Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults (4.1.2), a multi-disciplinary approach will form part of the sensitive pastoral response to enquirers.
Prayer, Sacrament and Scripture
As a Christian ministry, Deliverance ministry is offered to people in the context of prayer, sacrament, and scripture.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray for deliverance from evil (Matthew 6.9-13; Luke 11.2-4). At the same time, in his ministry, Jesus heals and delivers all kinds of people from physical, mental and spiritual afflictions, restoring them to physical health, mental wellbeing and returning them to full participation in their communities, reconnected to God (e.g., Luke 8:26-39). His disciples too, undertake this ministry, taught and encouraged by Jesus (e.g., Mark 6.7-13). In Acts, the proclamation of the Gospel is attended by miracles of deliverance (Acts 8.4-8). These are the kind of accounts many people remember when they think of ‘deliverance’ in Scripture.
Deliverance ministry witnesses to the love and healing brought by God in Christ Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, the personal conduct of everyone involved in the pastoral care particular to deliverance should encourage confidence in this ministry and never undermine it.
Authorisation, Diocesan Regulations and Training
In each diocese, Deliverance ministry is carried out by ministers with specialist training. Deliverance ministry may only be carried out by those authorised by the bishop to do so. Legal liability issues must be considered from an insurance viewpoint and any diocesan regulations should be also followed. Matters of data protection, informed consent and safeguarding guidance/code need to be reviewed and updated to ensure good practice and Deliverance ministry team members will receive appropriate training in these matters.
Competence, boundaries, and self-care
Anyone involved in Deliverance ministry should have support in their own Christian community, be aware of their personal limitations, and ensure that they are properly prepared and fit to be involved.
Deliverance ministry teams should also care for and pray for one another and look out for one another’s spiritual wellbeing. Bishops undertake to pray for all involved in deliverance.
Deliverance team members can withdraw from ministry within any case on which they are consulted or requested to attend, if such a case extends beyond their competence or crosses professional boundaries with others who may be involved, such as health care professionals, chaplaincies and other agencies.
Confidentiality, Record Keeping and Public Statements
The privacy and dignity of all involved should be respected and protected, stressing the need for confidentiality.
3. Additional Guidelines
Deliverance and Sexual Orientation
No person may undergo Deliverance ministry aimed at changing or influencing a person’s sexual orientation, even at their own request. This restriction on deliverance ministry also applies to matters of gender identity.
Complaints and procedures relating to inappropriate Deliverance Ministry practice
Most Deliverance ministry will support the pastoral care of local clergy and lay ministers and be situated within the larger ministry of healing and wholeness. However, more complex issues, mental health vulnerability and matters requiring more complex rites of deliverance must adhere to these guidelines and their safeguarding requirements. Complaints will be taken seriously.