A warm welcome to the Bristol District
Association of Healers website


by Doreen Fare.

Spiritual Healing in this country had been practised for many years and societies such as White Eagle Lodge (founded in 1936) were quietly getting on with it.

In 1949 a small number of healers banded together under the leadership of John Britnell and formed the Essex Healers Association.  Similar local groups were formed all over the U.K and soon it was seen that national co-ordination was needed.

1952 – The Bristol Society of Spiritual Healing was formed and Dennis Fare drew up the Constitution – the card of which is still to hand.


June 1954 – The National Federation of Spiritual Healers was created upon the initiative of John Britnell (Essex Healers) and Harry Edwards was recorded as member number one.


1960 – the NFSH Chairman Gordon Turner persuaded the medical authorities to allow Spiritual Healers to visit and give healing in hospitals.  Three years later it is recorded that 249 medical authorities governing 1,560 hospitals were allowing Spiritual Healers to practice.


1963 – Harry Edwards, together with George and Olive Burton came to the Colston Hall in Bristol to give a healing demonstration. Dennis Fare met them and five years later he was asked by both Harry Edwards and Olive Burton to stand for election as Chairman of the NFSH.


In 1970 Dennis Fare was asked by Harry Edwards to start the Bristol District & Somerset Association of Healers as by this time the Bristol Society of Healers had disbanded.


1973 – due to his age, Harry Edwards resigned as President of the NFSH and Dennis Fare was elected. Very important people supported the NFSH - Air Marshal Sir Victor Goddard, Sir Kelvin Spencer etc. and many doctors were now deeply integrated into healing. Dr. Gotthard Booth (USA) Dr. Christopher Woodard and Dr.Alec Forbes, a cancer consultant at Plymouth Hospital.


1974 – Gilbert Anderson was administrator to NFSH when Dennis Fare was president and in 1974, due to the rapid growth of NFSH membership overseas, Dennis proposed a World Federation of Healing.


September 5 1977 – The World Federation of Healing inaugural Conference was held in Westfield College, London University.  The NFSH sponsored this, but wanted to retain their national identity.


1980 – Alec Forbes helped form the now well-known Bristol Cancer Help Centre with Penny Brohn, her friends, Canon Christopher Pilkington and his wife Pat Pilkington.  Dennis as NFSH president was invited to join them.


So, here we are, observing how the flower of Spiritual Healing blossomed in this country.  From the quiet practices of White Eagle days (1936) and before, men such as John Britnell, Harry Edwards and Gordon Turner brought Spiritual Healing to the knowledge of the medical authorities.  The NFSH has grown and matured under the various creative abilities of its leaders and has had medical doctors in presidency. The World Federation of Healing has also grown considerably and has also had in the past, medical doctors as presidents.


At an NFSH Annual General Meeting it was decided to terminate group membership and restrict to individual membership.  Many of the county associations, some f whom were registered charities, preferred to carry on independently and so the British Alliance of Healing Associations was officially formed in 1977.  The affiliating healing groups being autonomous (ruling themselves) but being nationally guided by BAHA Steering Committee.


Then the Confederation of Healing Organisations (CHO) was formed and they have done an admirable job over the years.  They have linked all the healing associations together and have helped to establish healing as a standard therapy for the NHS as well as private medicine.  They motivated a mandatory Code of Conduct and contributed to Government policy, which now authorises doctors, to delegate patient care to competent healers, provided the doctor remains in charge.


We now have the U.K. HEALERS originating in 1999, which is the lead body for self-regulation of healer practitioners to the general public in the U.K. Their objective is to protect the public, instil confidence and ensure safe, appropriate and effective practice of Spiritual Healing by registered U.K. Healers and to create and maintain a practitioner register.


The plan for providing Spiritual help and Spiritual Healing to all encompasses us locally, nationally and internationally.  Many orthodox churches are again re-instating their healing services.  We are all part of this Divine Plan in Life.

Doreen Fare.

Article written originally in Spring 2004.


In the year 2000 at our AGM we discussed changing our name to the Bristol District Association of Healers, to widen our catchment area and to take in complementary therapists and to produce an interesting magazine, which would encourage friends and members.


In 1999 representatives from Yorkshire, Strathclyde, Home Counties, Norfolk and Suffolk Healer associations met in Derbyshire to discuss the current situation in which they found themselves and before they departed for home they had agreed that
they would meet again at some point and that they would like the Norfolk Healers to continue, on their behalf, to investigate the insurance brokers in order to find a suitable insurance policy for all our healer members.

 Between the first and second meetings, both Suffolk and Norfolk had notified the British Alliance that they were not renewing their membership and in the meantime Norfolk Healers found a suitable insurance policy for insuring the members of all the associations.

 In April 2000, the Suffolk Healers hosted, in Suffolk, the first meeting of 7 Associations; these were Norfolk, Home Counties, Invicta, Sussex, The Foundation of Spiritual Healing & Guidance and Yorkshire Healers.

 At this meeting it was agreed that we would meet twice a year to discuss the current events and other issues within the healing movement. We came together because we were like-minded, we cared what happened to not only the healers in our
associations but also the healers in this country and if in some small way we could help to make the difference; then we would try.

 The Friendly Group is a group of associations who are truly generous in spirit, being prepared to share ideas, information, knowledge and expertise, etc for the benefit of everyone; to be aware of current ideas, events and attitudes that concern healing for the purpose of mutual benefit whilst maintaining their independence and autonomy.


We agreed upon the following:

That each Association would remain autonomous and independent, having its own Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures and was free to join, associate, affiliate with any organisation that it saw appropriate.

That each Association would support the other, if they were called upon to arbitrate on their behalf.

 Each Association would communicate on a regular basis through their Newsletters/magazines and through referrals of patients and healers to one another.

 The Associations were not creating either an association or an organisation and therefore there were no requirements necessary in order to become part of the Group. (Apart from a Constitution, Code of Conduct, Disciplinary Procedures and a basic
Training Programme)

The only connection to one another technically was the insurance policy that is currently £8-70 pa per member.

 Margaret Mittins-Ladd acts as both the Broker and the coordinator on behalf of all the associations.

In October 2000 Home Counties hosted the second meeting in Stevenage and it was at this time that Dorset Hants & Wilts joined us.

At this meeting we agreed upon our name ‘The Friendly Group of Spiritual Healer Associations.’

Since the last meeting new Associations have joined us, Pilgrim Healers,  The Vivien Payne Healing Centre, now known as Redbridge Healing Centre and Devon & Cornwall.


3.     At a subsequent meeting it was agreed that any organisation/association who wished to become part of the Friendly Group needed to have in place its guiding principles; a Constitution, a Code of Conduct, Disciplinary Procedures and a training programme as well as insurance or requiring the FG insurance.


As a guideline the group joining would need to have a minimum of 10 people.

 The Friendly Group agreed that a simple but comprehensive account of the FG’s expenses should be kept and there would
be a Receipts and Payments file.

 It was also agreed that the word ‘representative’ was not appropriate and that the word ‘observer’ was used instead to describe the role of a member attending, on behalf of the FG, another meeting outside such as UK Healers.

 At subsequent meetings, the Raphael School Association, Healers 2006, now known as Healing Hands 2006, The International Healing Fellowship, Yorkshire Healers, and Lancs & District have joined the Friendly Group and The Foundation for Healing
& Guidance and the Pilgrim Healers have left.

In 2005 the FSA regulated the insurance business and as a result individual members of each association are responsible for maintaining their insurance; it is no longer the responsibility of the association or the Friendly Group coordinator to act as the broker.

In 2006, a healer member of The International Healing Fellowship, Lyleen Musgrave-Brown designed a series of logos for the Friendly Group and at the meeting the current logo was chosen.

In 2009 Bristol Healers joined us. At the latter end of the year we opened our first bank account and Dorset very kindly gave us a donation of £50-00 to open the account.

In 2010 The Raphael School Association was dissolved and donated £500-00 to the Friendly Group.
Since 2010, Lymington & New Milton Healing Groups, Healers of All Souls, The Whomerley, and the Wisdom Circle Foundation have joined us.

F/G Document
Dec 2001.

Revised in June 2004. October 2008. February 2010. November 2013.

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