Harry Edwards, Henry James Edwards,  

 

 Medium Henry James Edwards   England UK.

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 Harry Edwards Medium

born Henry James Edwards

29 May 1893 - 7 December 1976

Healer

A Harry Edward's Prayer

May I be thankful for all the blessings I already have. Grant me relief from pain and sickness, protect me from all ills and grant me good health in the days to come. Remove all causes of imperfection and bring Thy Healing Ministers close to me that I may be conscious of their presence and so receive guidance and inspiration. Grant me courage and fortitude to overcome all adversity. let me be conscious of Thy strength in all time of need. Grant me confidence to overcome my fears and not to anticipate harm. Teach me, how to live rightly in Thy sight, to do only that which is right and true. I pray that good guidance and right influencing will inspire all Thy peoples to be as brothers, one to the other, and that peace shall endure for all time. Amen

The Healing Minute

The Healing Minute takes place twice daily – at 10am and 10pm.

Every day people in 95 countries around the world join with the Sanctuary to focus their thoughts on healing for those in need and for world peace.

We invite you to join us all at 10 o'clock your own local time and add your own positive thought in a minute of meditation in sending energy to those in need wherever they are in the world and become part of a world energy peace force.

  

Harry Edwards Healing a gentleman with a curved spine.

 

Healing a man with very painful deformed hands, later thanking him, the man shook Harry's hand without any pain.

 

Harry in his younger days whilst in the army.

 

As well as relieving countless patients of enormous pain and suffering, Harry Edwards also did much to promote healing. His demonstrations in places like the Royal Albert Hall and his books did much to bring this spiritual science to the attention of the public.


My first contact with this remarkable man was in the late 1960's. I had heard of him several years before when I had begun to give healing myself. I had a few patients who visited me twice weekly and had also accumulated a fairly long list of people to whom I sent absent healing. They included a very sick man whose condition did not appear to respond to the healing. His illness was causing such distress to his family that they too had to be sent absent healing. My concern became so great that I wrote to Harry Edwards and asked if he too could send him absent healing. I felt like an infant school pupil asking a professor for help with his homework! I was, however, soon put at ease by his swift, very helpful reply. He stated that he would be pleased to send this patient healing and that he hoped our 'combined efforts' would soon ease his suffering. Throughout the months I sent Mr Edwards regular reports to which he always replied in a very encouraging and positive fashion. Although the patient did not improve in the way we hoped, he became more settled and easier for his family to manage and eventually passed on very peacefully.


It was during this period that I arranged to visit one of the weekly healing sessions at Harry Edwards' sanctuary as an observer. I arrived at the house in the beautiful Surrey countryside and was shown into a chapel where about thirty others were already seated. A few minutes later three white-coated people entered the room; one of them was Harry Edwards. He spent about a minute in silent prayer and then looked up and smiled, saying 'Who can I help first?' Over the next hour or so I witnessed healing feats which were truly wonderful. Every recipient had immediate benefit in varying degrees. One of the most impressive cures was performed on a young woman who had injured her spine in a riding accident. Doctors could do nothing more for her. She had spent months on crutches and had to use them to approach Harry Edwards from her chair. He laid his hands on her back and said 'Let's try and free the spine'. Seconds later he said 'Now try to walk'. She walked back to her chair without assistance. 'Don't forget your crutches!' said Mr Edwards.


Afterwards he asked me to join him for a chat. It was interrupted by a member of staff who announced that a patient had just arrived. A woman came in with a toddler aged about three. Mr Edwards had given healing to the youngster several months earlier for a severe nervous condition that had made the child constantly cling to her mother and scream if anyone else came near. 'Now look at her!' said the mother. Mr Edwards chuckled to see the youngster chatting to just about everyone in the room. The mother then explained that during a recent hospital visit it was discovered that the child had a hole in the heart and the doctors predicted that she only had months to live. 'Let's see what we can do' he replied and then lifted the infant on his knee.


At that point I started to move away but Mr Edwards said 'Stay here. Now put your left hand over her heart.' I did so and felt her little heart pounding at what seemed like twice the rate of a normal heartbeat. He then placed his right hand over mine and said 'Let's try and restore a normal heartbeat'. Within seconds the racing heart, which moments earlier seemed destined to burn itself out within a few months, gradually slowed down to a normal rhythm. The mother thanked Mr Edwards profusely, and as he put the child down he must have noticed an awe-struck expression on my face. He responded in his characteristic no-nonsense but humble manner by saying laughingly 'Come on. Let's have a cup of tea !'


I cannot claim to have known Harry Edwards well, but I later met a number of healers and mediums who had known him for years. They all said that, as well as being a great healer, Harry Edwards was a man of true faith and humility. Dr. George King during his early lectures on the science of spiritual healing often referred to him in a very complimentary manner. He stated that two great scientists, Lord Lister and Louis Pasteur, worked through him and that it was easy to see. Easy for Dr. King, perhaps, but not so easy for people like me!


Len Jason-Lloyd

Source From http://www.innerpotential.org/pages/article/harryed.html

The Harry Edwards Spiritual Healing Sanctuary
by Dawn Redwood


The Sanctuary nestles in 30 acres of Surrey woodland at Burrows Lea just outside the village of Shere, south-east of Guildford. It has, indeed, been home to spiritual healing for 59 years as Harry Edwards purchased it when his house in Ewell outgrew the ever increasing numbers of people requesting an appointment with the healer whose reputation was spreading, and who would go on to fill the Royal Albert Hall with his demonstrations of healing.
As soon as Harry Edwards saw the house he knew it would offer the perfect setting for the work he was to do. He had a vision of the billiard room being the Sanctuary and this remains so today. The larger house offered office space for his secretarial staff who would soon be handling 10,000 letters a week from people requesting distant healing. There was further office space to house the work of the National Federation of Spiritual Healers which Harry Edwards founded in 1955 and for whom he wrote the first course for training healers.
Harry Edwards continued to reply to letters and see as many people as he could up to and including the day he died in December 1976 aged 83.
Although his work continued with his successors it was scaled down, and when a new administration team took over about two and a half years ago changes were made and a programme of refurbishment and expansion was embarked upon. This will be completed by June this year, but throughout the programme the work of the Sanctuary has continued on a quieter scale.
The Sanctuary’s policy is to take the best of the tradition and practice of healing here into the future. One of the ways in which this is being realised is for us to record every patient request on our data base along with the reply. Requests for Distant Healing now arrive electronically as well as by post, and the technology used here enables us to deal quickly and efficiently with these requests which are individually read by a healer. The names of all those who contact us are kept in a Book of Dedication on the Sanctuary table for a month. We welcome further correspondence from those who wish to keep in touch.
Those people coming for Contact Healing will have the choice of the Sanctuary’s more traditional healing session in the Sanctuary or a longer, more private session, in one of the two new healing rooms. There will a purpose-built reception and visitors centre. Residential accommodation in five newly refurbished double bedrooms will be available at tariff rates, and upgraded conference and seminar facilities will soon be available for hire. The Sanctuary will be a beautiful venue for weddings and other social occasions.
The renowned woodland has been re-defined once again to be a traditional Surrey woodland in which wildlife will continue to flourish. There is a Meditation Glade for those wishing to have some reflective time. Car and coach parks are being extended.
Our first Retreats are already programmed into our calendar as well as Continuing Professional Development workshops and Healer Training courses. 1
The latter is especially appropriate in view of the role Harry Edwards played in the training and regularisation of healers. There is also a Resources room available which incorporates a library.
The programme of refurbishment and building has, quite naturally, been a little disruptive to the open-house policy that has been the hall-mark of the Sanctuary for 59 years. However, throughout all this time the work of the healers and the administration team has continued apace. Letters have been responded to with as much attention as before and people have still come for contact healing. The grounds will soon be free of builders and the Sanctuary will once more be open at weekends.
The Spiritual Heritage of the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary is underpinning all we do as we move into a new era of healing. The fabric of the building required attention and the building of the two new couch-healing rooms takes healing into a era beyond that of Harry Edwards. The emphasis on self-healing has not changed since his time. He knew of the mind-body connection, but today we have the research literature to substantiate this. Our healers are trained to help patients find ways of helping themselves using relaxation techniques, imagery , reflective and meditative practices.
We could not change, diminish or dilute the ‘healing intent’ if we tried. Spiritual Healing is steadfast, unchanging and constantly accessible. As healers we seek to fulfil the expectations of modern accountability and best practice through sustained dedication to all who seek help. Our approach to healing combines spirituality with practicality. We encourage those who contact us for healing to find ways of helping themselves through their difficulties, for I believe that in reaching out for ‘healing’ we are in fact simply reaching deeper into our own understanding and inner resources to meet our own needs-however that may manifest.
To ‘Know Thyself’ is surely the greatest healing we can give ourselves.
We look forward to our celebration to re-dedicate the work of the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary in early June. When we open officially to the public once more from June 8 we hope that all those who visit the Sanctuary will leave feeling sustained and renewed.
Biographical Note
Harry Edwards was born on 29 May 1893. There are many stories recounting the escapades of the boy who, in his own words, just managed to avoid ending up in Borstal. It was at the age of 12 that he renounced the 'boy's' life of fun and joined the London Diocese Church Lads Brigade.
Two years later he left school and became apprentice to the print trade. That did not capture his imagination but a poster in the local headquarters of the Liberal Party did and he campaigned on their behalf. Both those aspects of his life ceased abruptly in 1914 and his first role as soldier was to scan the seas beyond Brighton for marauding visitors. His ingenuity was not sidelined for he made sure that a fishing rod under the pier was catching his supper at the same time!
2
By the close of 1915 he was in Bombay en route for Tekrit where he proudly wore the title of 'Engineer' (after 60 minutes of training) and laid the railway track between there and Baghdad. His skills as an engineer building an elaborate circular incinerator are legendary (known as 'The Edwards Mosque').
His piece de resistance as an engineer was his bridge. Building one over a deep and fast-flowing river after an hour of training was a tall order so he built it on dry land and simply dynamited the river to flow under it when his bridge was ready.
The way in which he soothed the wounds and ills of both the troops and the locals earned him the title Hakim.
After the war he returned to printing and politics but neither flourished. The problem now was that he had a wife and 4 children to support, apart from any yearning he may have had to find fulfilment on another level.
That was soon to come for he felt at home in the Spiritualist church in the company of mediums and his own ability to be a channel of healing manifested itself.
Not only did his day job weary him, it bored him and printing had to give way to healing. His house soon became far too small and he moved his family to Shere in 1946, not really knowing how he could afford to.
Mindful of the fact that healing was considered to be unlawful under the terms of the Witchcraft Act of 1745 until its repeal in 1951, and aware of the wonders of spiritual healing, Harry Edwards took on the medical profession and the Church. By the end of the 1950s healers were allowed to work in hospitals, the National Federation of Spiritual Healers had been formed and he had written their first healing courses.
Despite the stutter of early childhood he spoke knowledgably and eloquently to politicians, churchmen and the medical profession alike and the legacy we have from him is very special.
He died on December 7 1976 at the age of 83.
Dawn Redwood is the Healing/Training Manager at the Sanctuary.
For further information: Tel: 01483 202054
email:info@burrowslea.org.uk www.harryedwards.org.uk
The Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary is a registered charity.
© Dawn Redwood 2005

source from http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/RedwoodEdwardsSanctuary1.6.05.pdf

Harry Edwards and the Archbishops' Commission On Divine Healing
by Steve Hume.

This article is one of a number dealing with 'Spiritualism and the Establishment', published in the NAS Newsletter.
Healing is one area where Spiritualism has had an enduring effect upon establishment attitudes, an impact that belies the relatively small size of the movement today.
All human cultures have had their esoteric healing traditions that have interpreted a seemingly natural human faculty according to their own mythologies. Spiritualists, of course, view healing as a type of mediumship and by the mid-twentieth century Spiritualism had played a central role in reintroducing healing into western society. Also, one Spiritualist healer in particular was causing intense embarrassment to both the established Church (which had largely abandoned its own links with the healing tradition whilst still claiming to be an authority on the matter) and the medical establishment which, as a branch of the scientific establishment, saw no room for the superstitious notion that healing could be brought about by any other means than surgery or modern drugs.
The healer in question, Mr Harry Edwards, was not an Establishment figure by any stretch of the imagination; despite this, he probably did more to permanently affect Establishment attitudes, in the UK at least, towards a particular type of mediumship (healing) than any other single Spiritualist before or since.
Edwards was, easily, the most well known and best loved healer of his generation, and over the course of his long career he fought hard to win recognition for Spiritual Healing by the medical profession. However, as he frequently pointed out, he did not see healing as being a substitute for conventional medicine, it was his greatest wish to see doctors and healers working together in a common cause with the doctor remaining firmly in charge of each case.(1) In this respect, Edwards began an approach that has been continued since.
As far as the Church was concerned, Harry Edwards was outraged that mainstream Christianity had abandoned healing. It was his view that the Church was disobeying the instructions of its founder by doing this and he often said so in public which, no doubt, did little to endear him to the leaders of the Anglican Church. He would answer Christian critics, some of whom accused him of doing the 'Devil's work', by saying that people should be able to have healing in church every Sunday, and that if this were done then the problem of dwindling congregations would be solved at a stroke. But, Edwards also warned all denominations that healing was the property of no one, including Spiritualists, because:-
'There is not one set of Divine laws for the Church of England and another set for the Methodists, the Congregationalists, and the Spiritualists. It is our common heritage. To try and control it by ritual or set performances of any kind, or to discipline, by set prayers, the healing efforts of healer priests will likewise fail.'(2)
Ironically, this attitude would also cause Edwards some unpopularity amongst Spiritualists but to the established Church, which had probably stifled the healing gift in this very way, it was a double insult, the other half of which was Edwards' very public success at practising what he preached at venues the length and breadth of the country. There was also the fact that clergymen were turning to Edwards instead of the Church authorities to ask how they could develop the healing gift themselves. Parallel to this, many doctors, ignoring the threat of disciplinary action, were covertly referring 'incurable' patients to Edwards.
It was inevitable that matters would come to a head and this happened eventually in 1953 when the Church organised a commission consisting of assorted Bishops and other clergymen, doctors and a psychologist to look into the evidence for 'Divine' healing. However, before I relate how the Commission subjected Edwards to some astonishingly shabby treatment, despite his best efforts to co-operate, and of how the healer eventually managed to humiliate the Church by guessing the true purpose of its panel and successfully predicting its 'findings' in public, a brief account of his career up to this point would be in order.
Henry (Harry) James Edwards was born on May 29, 1893 in Islington, North London, the eldest son of a print compositor. As a child Edwards was described in the biography by colleague Raymus Branch, Harry Edwards...The Life Story of the Great Healer, as being 'a holy terror of the first order' whose most notable achievements were the derailment of a number of railway trucks from the line at the back of the Edwards home at Wood Green, and the premature launching of a hot-air balloon one evening at Alexandra Palace. Edwards' character underwent a dramatic transformation, however, when he developed a crush on the local butcher's daughter; in an effort to impress her he even gave up swearing and joined the local Church Lads Brigade. He also developed an interest in politics and became a youthful, but avid, supporter of the Liberal party, gaining his first experience of public speaking at political rallies.
During the First World War Edwards served in India and the Middle East, eventually attaining the rank of Captain and it was here that he showed the first signs of the extraordinary healing gift that was to make him famous the world over. As 'Assistant Director of Labour, Persian Lines of Communication' he found himself, equipped with little more than bandages and iodine, having to act as an unofficial doctor to the native workforce. Edwards was surprised to observe an unusual rate of recovery even amongst those with serious injuries but he thought nothing more about this until many years later after his introduction to Spiritualism.
After returning to England Edwards married and set up his own print business in Balham, South London. By now his early interest in politics had turned into a burning ambition to right the wrongs of society and he stood unsuccessfully as the Liberal party candidate for North West Camberwell twice, in 1929 and 1935. It was after his second election defeat, in 1936, that Edwards received a message that would change his life at a small Spiritualist Church at Clousdale Road in Balham.
Up until then he had adopted the views of his father who, as a religious rationalist, had no belief in an afterlife. Edwards was also a keen amateur conjurer and 14 years previously he had visited a Spiritualist Church for the first time with every intention of exposing the medium's tricks. Instead he was given a message that he could not account for and his interest was aroused. So when, during his second exposure to Spiritualism at Clousdale Road, the medium told him that he was 'born to heal' and despite the fact he had no idea what a healer was, he joined a development circle to see what would happen. Edwards quickly developed trance mediumship and this was followed closely by his first cautious attempts at absent healing.
One of these came after a distraught woman, a Mrs Newland, whose husband had been sent home to die of lung cancer, wandered into Edwards' print shop quite by chance and he offered to try absent healing. Two days later, Mrs Newland returned to say that her husband's condition had improved radically. Later, x-rays showed no signs of the malignancy but a doctor at St Thomas' Hospital who was unfamiliar with the case concluded that Mr Newland had never had cancer in the first place.
Edwards soon found that his early self-conscious attempts at contact healing often brought similar results, and soon his reputation had spread to such an extent that his home was regularly filled by people seeking his help. He eventually found that many of the elaborate gestures employed by healers, such as blowing on the patient and flicking away 'diseased' energy from the fingers, were quite unnecessary and he developed the simple, straightforward approach that became his trademark. It was not long before his efforts were being reported in Psychic News and the local papers.
In his autobiography, On The Side Of Angels, Gordon Higginson remarked that some aspects of Edwards' healing bore the hallmarks of physical mediumship and it was during this early, pre-war phase of his career that the healer sponsored the mediumship of Jack Webber. Edwards' photographs of seance-room phenomena are some of the best ever obtained and his careful documentation of Webber's mediumship was published as The Mediumship of Jack Webber.(3) Edwards also ensured that some very sceptical members of the press were able to report on some of the Welsh ex-miner's remarkable seances. Montague Keen, writing recently in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, has remarked that the name of 'Webber' has been remarkable by its absence from the sceptical literature and that 'The record of his physical mediumship...constitutes a challenge that seems to have been ignored even by our own society.'(4)
It was after World War Two that Edwards' career really took off, with his public demonstrations of contact healing at venues ranging from the humblest Spiritualist Church to the Albert Hall. During these, Edwards would usually ask for those suffering from conditions that he had found to respond most rapidly to contact healing, but he was always careful to point out that, in most cases, patients would require further treatment and that a complete cure was not always to be expected. Even so, he began to experience foretastes of the treatment he would receive later at the hands of the medical members of the Archbishops' Commission. One such case was reported in the Cambridge Daily News in 1948. At a demonstration at Cambridge Guild Hall Edwards had given healing to four-year-old Phillip Goodliff who, being crippled by polio, had to be carried onto the platform by his mother. A minute after receiving healing, the child, after discarding his leg-iron, was 'romping' around the front of the hall and creating such a disturbance that his mother had to remove his shoes. However, the orthopaedic surgeon who had treated the boy, Mr Noel Smith, despite the fact that the child could now walk, declared that Edwards had merely used 'an age-old chiropractic stunt' and that the treatment for infantile paralysis should be on 'scientific and proved lines'.(5)
Of course, the case of Phillip Goodliff represented the only the tip of a very large iceberg of successful healings. By the time that he received a request to submit evidence to the Archbishops' Commission, Edwards was a national figure who was answering thousands of requests for absent healing from around the world each week at his Sanctuary, 'Burrows Lea' in Surrey, which he had acquired in 1946. Edwards was also keeping records of each patient's progress. Ostensibly, the task of the Commission was to assess the evidence for Divine Healing with a view to issuing guidelines to the clergy as to how requests for healing should be handled and how healing should be given.(6) As we shall see, however, the former aim somehow vanished from the Commission's agenda once it became apparent that Edwards could actually meet the criteria for evidence specified by the panel. And, tragically, the 'guidelines' that were eventually issued were little better than an insult to the sick.
As Raymus Branch has noted, if it had not been for Harry Edwards then the Archbishops' Commission on Divine Healing would probably never have been formed.(7) It was, after all, Edwards' public demonstrations of contact healing that had made the subject a matter of public debate in post-war Britain. So, although Edwards was not the only healer to be asked to co-operate with the Commission it was inevitable that, in the public mind, he would be seen as its chief subject of investigation. As the most famous healer of the day, it was Harry Edwards, a Spiritualist, who bore the burden of responsibility for proving the worth of spiritual healing to the bishops and their panel of medical advisers.
The panel formed to investigate healing was formidable indeed, including five bishops and an array of senior doctors and academics.(8) The most notable and hostile of these was Dr. David Stafford-Clark (later to become known as 'the television psychiatrist'). Ironically, the panel also included the Rev. Maurice Elliot who had long campaigned for a liaison between Spiritualism and the Church. Elliot had been one of the prime movers behind an earlier Church Commission, formed by Archbishop Cosmo Lang, to investigate Spiritualism itself. It was Elliot who had courageously spoken out after Lang had tried to suppress the resulting 'majority report' which was favourable to Spiritualism, and the nature of the Healing Commission may be judged by the fact that the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Fisher, reacted with dismay at Elliot's participation. Upon finding him present at the first meeting of the Commission, Fisher had demanded of Elliot 'And what are you doing here today?' closely followed by 'Who sent you?' upon which Elliot merely pointed upwards and walked away.(9)
Edwards was later to comment that Elliot was the only friend amongst a panel that was otherwise 'horse-faced'.(10) However, if the healer's account of his interview by the Commission is to be believed, there must be some doubt as to the fitness of at least one panel member to have participated in such an inquiry.
Although the Commission had been announced in 1953 it was not until July 7 1954 that Edwards (accompanied by his assistant, Olive Burton), arrived at Lambeth Palace to present his evidence for healing. The Commission had requested details of six cases for investigation by the medical panel. Edwards, who by this time was dealing with thousands of requests for absent healing every week, had little trouble in forwarding seventy such cases from the previous three months, the details of which could all be checked by the panel with the doctors concerned via the patients themselves.(11)
After a talk, during which he invited the panel to witness a contact healing session at Burrows Lea, Edwards faced a barrage of hostile, critical questions.(12) He related later how one doctor had stood up and contemptuously cast the papers relating to the healings to one side declaring 'There is no evidence of spiritual healing here for they could all have been spontaneous (natural) healings'. When Edwards pointed out the absurdity of this suggestion (that seventy patients who had been declared by their doctors to be 'incurable' just happened to recover 'spontaneously' after being given healing), the doctor retorted that 'Too many doctors are declaring people to be incurable when they are not'.(13) When, at another stage in the proceedings, Edwards attempted to give details concerning the healing of a 'blue baby', this brought a shout of 'impossible' from Dr. Stafford-Clark. When the healer persisted in trying to give an account of this case, Stafford-Clark swung his chair round and Edwards found himself addressing the doctor's back!(14)
After their in-depth, minutes-long 'investigation' of the seventy cases presented by Edwards the panel then asked him to provide a further six 'case histories' for scrutiny, perhaps knowing that, owing to the confidentiality of such information, the healer would be denied access to official medical histories. In 1950, Edwards had helped a doctor from St. Bartholomew's Hospital who was conducting a private study of healing by supplying ninety-five cases for examination. Even the doctor himself had not been able to get access to the medical records for fifty-eight of these cases but when Edwards pointed this out to the panel he was told, incredibly, that 'he only had to ask' for the details.(15)
Nevertheless, Edwards managed to meet the new criteria for eight cases which were duly supplied to the Commission with a request that he be allowed to see the medical panel's comments in advance of publication. In view of the evasion tactics already employed by the medical panel this was an understandable request from Edwards who, by now, was beginning to suspect that even these cases would not be investigated properly and that the Commission was likely to be misled. Edwards simply wanted to be able to correct any likely mis-statements or evasions concerning the cases to prevent this from happening. As we shall see, however, Edwards had to wait two years, despite repeated requests, before he received an assurance that his plea to see the findings in advance would be met and, even then, this proved to be a waste of paper and ink.
In the meantime Edwards continued with his healing work. Shortly after the fiasco of his interview at Lambeth Palace he gave a healing demonstration at the Albert Hall, on September 25 1954, in front of an audience of 6,000 which included 17 members of the Archbishops' Commission, representatives of the BMA and members of the Church's Council of Healing. Accordingly, Edwards made a point of asking for people with 'incurable' conditions: a girl of eight who was spastic from birth raised her arms above her head for the first time; a man crippled by arthritis for 30 years walked away from the platform as did a woman who had not walked for five years. During the demonstration, Edwards made numerous asides that were obviously intended for the ears of the Commission, such as 'Would it not be a fine thing if this healing was taking place in Canterbury Cathedral and in all our Parish Churches? It should be happening there, for that is its rightful place!'(16)
During the coming months, Edwards voiced his increasing frustration with the Commission more directly with a series of letters to Lambeth Palace repeatedly asking, to no avail, that he be allowed to comment on the medical panel's findings. Gradually, he became so disillusioned with the Commission that he started to complain publicly about his treatment in his own magazine The Spiritual Healer, and this culminated in an open accusation of 'conspiracy and negligence' when he found out that the patient from one of the cases, a Mr William Olsen, had been asked by the Commission to provide his own medical corroboration and that five of the other patients and their doctors had not even been contacted!(17)
By May 1956 Edwards had just completed a book, The Truth About Spiritual Healing, in which he gave an account of the Commission's behaviour. On May 8, after the book had gone to press he received a letter from Lambeth palace signed by the Bishop of Lincoln and the Secretary to the Commission, the Rev. Eric Jay, saying that a Dr. Claxton of the BMA had no objections to granting his request and would write to him shortly with the medical panel's findings. Edwards was so pleased with this that he suspended his book's publication immediately, only to find that the conclusions of the medical panel (on which the Commission's report was eventually to be based), were published in the British Medical Journal on May 12 anyway.(18) And, to rub salt into the wound, Edwards received Claxton's letter containing the findings two days afterwards.(19)
As Edwards was to write later in an updated version of his book...'the offer of co-operation was a sham - a case of "thank you for nothing"', but what made matters much worse was the fact that the BMA report amply confirmed his worst fears as it contained evasions and downright errors concerning the eight cases that were scarcely believable. This suggested that the panel had either not bothered to conduct its investigation with anything like the scientific detachment and thoroughness that one would expect, or had actually chosen to lie rather than admit that the cases presented evidence in favour of Spiritual Healing.
Edwards wrote back to Rev. Eric Jay, to whom he had already predicted this very outcome many times over the previous months:-
'As I anticipated, and as I have told you several times, the BMA findings are purposefully evasive, misleading and a distortion of the truth...It is obvious that the doctors are hostile. To ask them for an impartial judgement is asking them to agree that spiritual healing can succeed when they have failed, and this they do not want to do, whatever the evidence...If the commission is willing to accept the BMA report at its face value, that is its responsibility, but if, on the other hand, it cares to question this report, I shall be prepared to co-operate.'(20)
Edwards included details of the BMA's errors but, apparently, the Commission was prepared to accept the report at face value as he received no reply to his letter.
A full commentary on the BMA report was included in the final version of The Truth About Spiritual Healing.(21) Fairly typical is the treatment the panel gave to the case of a patient, Mr. 'B', whose son had sought absent healing from Edwards on his father's behalf for bladder cancer which was diagnosed after a biopsy. An operation was planned but, according to the son, shortly after healing commenced his father's 'appearance was transformed, pain ceased, and he appeared to regain his perfect health'. No cancer was found during a preliminary examination prior to the operation at the Royal Masonic Hospital and so the actual surgery was not performed and the patient was found to be cancer free on several occasions up to December 1954. In 1955, the same patient became very seriously ill with bronchitis but again, after healing, recovered. Three months later, however, Mr. 'B' died suddenly of a heart attack.
Doubtless, Edwards would not have objected if the BMA report had told the truth concerning this patient's demise (after all he was not claiming that, through healing, one could achieve immortality) but it claimed that Mr 'B' had succumbed to the original 'carcinoma of the bladder', completely ignoring the actual medical evidence.
Another case concerned a Miss E. Wilson who had been suffering from back pain for more than forty years and was diagnosed in 1950 at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary as having 'gross Kyphosis deformity'. After one contact healing session with Edwards in 1951 her spine was straightened considerably, she became completely pain-free and was able to discard her back-brace and walking sticks...improvements that were acknowledged by her consultant, a Mr. Ross. However, the BMA report stated wrongly, without even calling Miss Wilson as a witness, that she had 'improved whilst receiving physiotherapy in addition to Mr. Edwards's administrations' when she had, in fact, received no further treatment because, as Edwards pointed out, she did not need it.
There were similar inconsistencies with all of the other cases and it would be no exaggeration to say that the report was scientifically worthless. Yet, the panel still managed to conclude from its non-investigation that... 'We can find no evidence that organic diseases are cured by such means [spiritual healing]'.
Edwards' immediate response was to issue a statement to the press in which he gave the true details of the eight cases and challenged the BMA to have them independently assessed.(22) Of course, this challenge was not taken up and, in the eyes of many, the BMA must have appeared rather foolish. The authors of the report also seemed to have been blissfully unaware that Edwards had many friends in the medical profession and he was particularly annoyed that they had reminded doctors that they were liable to disciplinary action if they co-operated with healers. In a speech made in Bloomsbury the following year, Edwards was able to produce a fistful of the 200 letters he had received from doctors requesting his assistance in the short time since the report's publication. He warned the BMA that if they should be 'ill-advised' enough to discipline even one of them that... 'we are in a position to provide a great amount of support to that doctor through the medical profession itself'.(23)
It is, perhaps, hardly surprising that, in 1958, Edwards received a letter from the Chaplain of the Commission telling him that none of the evidence he had supplied would be used in the final report.(24) After all, the Commission had been totally out-manoeuvred by the healer who had managed to publicly discredit the 'findings' of their eminent medical panel; any reference to this in the final report would have amounted to a public admission of everything that Edwards had accused the Commission of unless they had taken up his challenge to have the evidence independently assessed.
The Commission had clearly decided to fudge the issue by not mentioning Edwards' evidence at all. But, Edwards had pre-empted the Church even here. Anticipating the likely outcome years before, he had devoted a whole chapter in The Truth About Spiritual Healing to predicting what the Commission's recommendations to the clergy regarding healing would be. He would now see just how accurate his predictions had been. Today, nearly forty years after the Commission's findings were published, we can see that the Healing Movement has continued to flourish in the manner envisioned by Edwards, albeit without the co-operation of the Church.
It must have seemed obvious to Edwards that the Commission, rather than take advice from a Spiritualist who was providing powerful evidence that genuine healing of organic and mental disease was possible without placing any religious preconditions on the act, would uselessly try to cram the healing gift into its own dogmas to avoid losing face. This belief that one can magically confer the gift of healing on someone by dressing them in priest's robes and asking them to perform set rituals and prayers was, as Edwards had maintained all along, how the Church had managed to mislay its healing ministry in the first place. Edwards' predictions of the Commission's recommendations may be summarised thus:(25) (i) It would admit that healers from outside the Church may be able to bring about healing but there would be references to evil spirits and the Devil; (ii) It would 'suggest that applicants for spiritual healing should receive devotional education', and it would also expect patients to become members of the Church, placing its own preconditions on 'Divine' healing; (iii) It would accept that healing may be possible with 'nervous diseases' but not with organic conditions; (iv) It would disparage public demonstrations of healing such as those given by Edwards.
This forecast was remarkable in its accuracy.(26) After the report's publication in June 1958 Edwards gave his reaction to it in his own magazine, The Spiritual Healer. There was, indeed, an acknowledgement that Spiritualist healers 'may be...gifted men' but, despite Edwards' efforts to give an understanding of this they were 'gifted in ways which as yet we do not understand'. There were references to 'demons' and how churchmen should 'exorcise' patients.
There was the recommendation that 'Sickness...often presents a unique opportunity for instruction' and that the patient be 'prepared', 'instructed' and encouraged to 'confess' to 'bring the patient to a real sorrow for his sins' before healing. The clergy were also advised that if they were asked to give healing to a stranger they would 'need to discover whether the patient is a Christian,...a churchman, whether he has been baptised...confirmed and is a communicant'. In other words, the report inferred that non-Anglicans should be left to suffer, something which Edwards described as 'downright cruel'. There was also the disingenuous comment that 'If the investigation was sufficiently complete, there might arise scientific evidence for unparalleled physical cures' followed by a 15 paragraph dismissal of apparent healing successes as being due to wrong diagnoses, 'spontaneous' remission etc. Edwards remarked 'So illogical is the report that after ruling that any investigation of Spiritualist healings were outside its business, it devotes pages to explain them away'.
As far as public healing was concerned, the report, although not ruling it out, recommended that it should only be held for the 'instructed', otherwise 'attendance at a healing service could have disastrous results'. This prompted Edwards to retort that 'The only disastrous result will be that the patients may die while they are waiting for all this "preparation" before they are allowed to enter the Church to be healed'.
The popular press reacted with bewilderment and a certain amount of outrage to the report. The Daily Express commented that its 'jungle of theological jargon' reached back to 'the dark superstitious beginnings of man himself' and was a 'tremendous attack' on other denominations including Spiritualists. The Star, a leading evening newspaper of the time, obviously unaware of the irony of the situation, asked in a leading article 'Why, for instance, didn't the Commission probe and test the evidence of a man like Harry Edwards...Because, they say, it was outside their terms of reference.' Needless to say, Maurice Barbanell, editor of Psychic News was also outraged, he wrote that the report was a 'waste of the paper on which it was printed'. Perhaps the most ridiculous of the report's recommendations had been its suggestion that to induce healing the priest should bless a bottle of olive oil, soak a piece of wool in this, draw a cross on the patient's forehead and, after reciting a prayer, burn the wool. Edwards commented that 'If Spiritualist healers did this, they would be rightly laughed at'. He also predicted that, until the Church came to its senses the sick would continue to seek healing from Spiritualists. Which, indeed, they did.
Barely a month after the report's publication Edwards held another healing demonstration at the Albert Hall. He shared the platform with 300 healers from the non-denominational National Federation of Spiritual Healers (of which Edwards was President) which had been formed in 1955 by John Britnell with Edwards' help.(27) Also there to speak in support of healing was the MP for Kensington, George Roger, but it was Edwards himself who delivered the coupe de grace to the Archbishops' report. After accusing the medical panel from the Commission of 'shameful negligence' for not examining the evidence he had provided, he declared... 'We present the evidence for the judgement of public opinion'. Then two of the eight patients whose cases had been misrepresented in the earlier BMA report, before being ignored completely by the Commission, stepped up to the microphone. William Olsen who had recovered from spinal collapse and Elizabeth Wilson, a former hunchback, stepped up to the microphone to testify to their recovery at Edwards' hands. A Mrs Blowes whose eight month old daughter had been sent home to die of a malignant growth told the audience that the girl was now nine years old thanks to healing. The audience were also told that the patient from one of the other cases, a boy who had been crippled by a strange condition that had bent his body 'like a question mark', would have been present were it not for the fact that he was taking his school exams.
The Archbishops' report was then finally laid to rest by none other than the Rev. Maurice Elliot who, as a member of the Commission, had been present when Edwards first presented his evidence at Lambeth Palace. Elliot told the audience that he was so disgusted by the report and the way it had been compiled that he had refused to sign it.(28)
Many years before, during his army career in the Middle East, Edwards had been entrusted with the task of building a bridge over a wide, fast flowing river. As he only knew how to build bridges over roads Edwards simply ordered the bridge to be built to one side of the river which was then diverted underneath it with dynamite.(29) In retrospect it can be seen that Harry Edwards used a similar approach to paving the way for the increasing acceptance of healing by the medical establishment that we see today. Edwards already had considerable covert grass-roots support amongst doctors, indeed he recalled that after a lecture given to a division of the BMA several doctors had taken him to one side and told him how they were his 'best friend here', 'your strongest supporter' etc.(30)
In 1959 healers from the NFSH, of which Edwards was the first president, were given permission to give healing in 1,500 NHS hospitals,(31) but Edwards continued to fight for recognition of healing by the BMA and the General Medical Council. During his long presidency of the NFSH, whose early headquarters was Edwards' own healing sanctuary at Burrows Lea, he was responsible for the organisation's early training courses,(32) and he continued to demonstrate healing internationally, even touring Zimbabwe at the age of 82, shortly before his passing in 1976.(33)
It has been estimated that, over the course of his 40 year career, Edwards gave healing to around 14 million people, from the most humble to members of the royal family, without ever charging a penny for his services.(34) One year after his passing, in 1977, the GMC issued a policy statement in which permission was given for doctors to refer patients to accredited healers if they saw fit.(35) 1981 saw the formation of the Confederation of Healing Organisations, an umbrella organisation for healing associations from all denominations who are prepared to accept a common code of conduct prepared in consultation with the GMC, BMA and Royal Colleges of Medicine.(36) In 1988, the Doctor Healer Network was formed by psychiatrist Dr Daniel Benor for Doctors who wished to employ healers at their surgeries and an increasing number of Doctors, such as Dr Barbara King of Birmingham have become healers themselves.(37)
Today Britain is the only European country to have a strongly established healing movement and an attempt to make complementary therapies such as healing available on the National Health Service was defeated in the House of Lords by only 4 votes in 1990.(38) It would seem that the realisation of this central aim of the CHO is only a matter of time, especially since an attempt by the Lannoye Committee of the European Parliament to severely restrict complementary medicine in the UK was met with a threat by the last government to use the Maastricht treaty to veto any such move.(39)
It is difficult to imagine that any of the above would have been possible without Harry Edwards although, of course, a great deal of the credit belongs to many others also. Despite his own Spiritualist interpretation of how healing is achieved by attunement with 'God's Healing Ministers in Spirit', he wisely recognised that this must take second place to the healing act itself. His insistence that healing should be non-denominational was an act of humility that ensured its wider acceptance by an increasingly secular society and an Establishment that is still largely hostile to the concept of mediumship as such. Of course, such an approach would be vastly more difficult with mediumship as a form of evidential communication.
So much for the medical establishment. The Church, for its part, seems to have learned nothing from its encounter with Harry Edwards. The Churches Council for Health and Healing, unlike the NFSH, is not a member of the CHO, and therefore is not bound by a code of conduct which forbids forcing the belief system of the healer upon the patient. Consequently, the vacuum left by the mainstream church's rejection of Harry Edwards' advice has been filled, in part, to the dismay of many clergymen, by the rise of the so-called 'Toronto Blessing': in this, people cavort around like chickens in a disco, baying like animals while they exorcise various imaginary demons. This practice has even been encouraged in church by some of the more evangelically minded clergy and some 'patients' who have been exposed to it have claimed that they suffered long-term psychological damage as a result. Some may remember a TV documentary about this phenomenon a few years ago during which one man alleged that his 'healing' had involved being forcibly held down whilst blackcurrant cordial was poured into his underwear to purify him. One wonders whether the Archbishops' Commission would have regarded this as a 'disastrous' result.
Naturally, one also wonders what Harry Edwards would have thought of such antics. A number of years ago I was present at a contact healing session at Burrows Lea, during which Ray and Joan Branch gave healing to a lady whose neck, hips, and wrists were chronically affected by arthritis. As she walked away from Edwards' old healing chair (carrying her support collar) she turned and asked Ray whether he ever heard anything from his former mentor. He replied, with a smile, 'Oh, we never do anything without him!'.



References
(1)Harry Edwards (a), A Guide to the Understanding and Practice of Spiritual Healing (Guildford: Healer Publishing, 1982), pp.111-112.
(2)And all other general biographical details, Raymus Branch, Harry Edwards: The Life Story of the Great Healer (Guildford: Healer Publishing, 1991), p.174.
(3)For an excellent account of Jack Webber's career see 'The Mediumship of Jack Webber', The NAS Newsletter, December 1995.
(4)Montague Keen, 'A Sceptical View of Parapsychology', JSPR, Vol. 61, No. 846, Jan. 1997, p.298.
(5)Raymus Branch, Ibid., pp.139-140.
(6)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.167.
(7)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.166.
(8)For full details see 6.
(9)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.168.
(10)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.170.
(11)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.169.
(12)Harry Edwards (b), The Truth About Spiritual Healing (London: Spiritualist Press, 1956), pp.146-151.
(13)Harry Edwards (b), Ibid., pp.31-32.
(14)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.175.
(15)See 7.
(16)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.176.
(17)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.181.
(18)British Medical Journal Supplement, May 12 1956, pp.269-273.
(19)Harry Edwards (b), Ibid., pp.33-39.
(20)See 12.
(21)Harry Edwards (b), Ibid., pp.40-84.
(22)Harry Edwards (b), Ibid., pp.152-153.
(23)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.188.
(24)Raymus Branch, Ibid., p.190.
(25)Harry Edwards (b), Ibid., pp.124-126.
(26)Ramus Branch, Ibid., pp.190-196.
(27)Don Copeland, 'Harry Edwards and Healing Training', NFSH Region 14 Newsletter, Summer 1997, p.4.
(28)Ramus Branch, Ibid., p.198.
(29)Ramus Branch, Ibid., pp.41-40.
(30)Ramus Branch, Ibid., p.145.
(31)Anthea Courtenay, Healing Now (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1991), p.112.
(32)Don Copeland, Ibid.
(33)Ramus Branch, Ibid., illustration facing p.227.
(34)Estimate given by Ramus Branch at seminar, Burrows Lea 1996.
(35)Ramus Branch, Ibid., p.147.
(36)Anthea Courtenay, Ibid., p.13.
(37)Jo Ind, writing in the Birmingham Post, July 6 1993.
(38)News and Views, Journal of the Surrey Spiritual Healers Association, Autumn 1997, pp.30-31.
(39)See 14.
(40)Anthea Courtenay, Ibid., p.13.

Source from http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/seance/78/hedwards.htm

 

 

LINKS of the Harry Edwards sanctuary.

 

OTHER HEALING ORGANISATIONS

UK Healers Spiritual Healing regulatory body

National Federation of Spiritual Healers

Co-founded by Harry Edwards, the NFSH provides training for Spiritual Healers in the UK
Alliance of Healing Associations AHA is an umbrella group of some 20 Healing associations
World Federation of Healing A federation for all healing therapies
Surrey Healers The Surrey Spiritual Healers' Association
The Doctor Healer Network Encouraging the acceptance and use of integrated medicine, incorporating healing as a major component.
NFSH Healing In America NFSH affiliate organisation in the U.S.A

HEALERS

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