Why we are here

Our Aim

The Ministry of Healing-The Mount is founded on the Christian values of hospitality, belonging and wholeness which nurture opportunities for healing, growth and reconciliation for the individual, for relationships and the community, so that all can reach their fullest potential, and achieve peace and contentment.

Our purpose is to bring wholeness in Christ Jesus through prayer. Our core values are dependence on the Holy Spirit, achieving sustainable resources, stakeholder engagement, outreach, and confidentiality. Our vision externally is to be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for prayer and healing ministry.

An interview with Pat Mollan, published in the Church of Ireland Gazette, conducted by the Editor, Revd Earl Storey.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

They say ‘life begins at 40’ – and for me, that was when things really started to happen. We were living in Holywood and our new vicar, Canon Jim Monroe, was a man of many challenges. I thank God for him making my pew uncomfortable and causing me to look upwards and then inwards, and examining faith matters more deeply.

Growing up in a Christian family and living next door to St Patrick’s church, Jordanstown, gave me a good start in life. I was educated at Richmond Lodge School and Belfast Royal Academy, where I met my life’s companion, Rab. We matriculated at Queen’s University, Belfast, in 1963 – Rab in medicine and I in science. I graduated PhD (Chemistry) in 1970 and BD in 1997. We have four children and eight grandchildren.

During that time, the Gazette ran an advertisement for Belfast Bible College that asked: “Would you like a deeper understanding of God’s word?” and “Would you like help finding where your spiritual gifts lie?” I had hardly applied for their Women’s Study Fellowship, until I heard God’s call into the ordained ministry. It took me a while to verbalise what was going on, and my delight was that God had been taking Rab on the same journey. We were ordained side-by-side for non stipendiary ministry at Pentecost 1997.

How did you first become involved in Christian healing ministry?

The Down and Dromore Diocesan Healing Committee invited Rab to speak at their biannual general meeting in 1997, and I ended up on the committee! They sent me on a residential course on Christian Healing for clergy and health professionals at the Church of England Healing Centre in 1998. This was where I first encountered the practical reality of Christ’s healing ministry and the benefits of the symbolic laying on of hands and anointing with oil.

For anyone unfamiliar with it, how would you describe Christian healing ministry?

Christian healing is best defined as ‘Jesus Christ meeting me at my point of need’. Jesus heals today through the prayers of his faithful people. As humans, we exist as body, mind and spirit, and healing can take place in any – or all – of these areas. Healing may also be in relationships with individuals, within families or in communities. The most precious healing takes place when someone commits their life to Jesus.

Can you tell us about the Church of Ireland’s Ministry of Healing – how did it originate and what is its current role?

It emerged in Ireland in the 1930s. The Archbishop of Dublin recognised Canon Noel Waring’s gifting and directed him into a Dublin parish, where he could exercise his special gift of healing. The ministry spread from there, being established in the 1960s in Belfast at 11 The Mount.

Our mandate is found in Luke 9:2, “He [Jesus] sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” God still heals today, through the prayers of his faithful people – that is anyone who believes in our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive” (Matthew 7:7). So often, we don’t have because we don’t ask. 

What is your present role in the Church’s Ministry of Healing and what does it involve?

In 2009, the Church of Ireland encouraged the setting up of two autonomous charitable companies – there’s one in Belfast and one in Dublin. I am CEO and director of ministry at Church’s Ministry of Healing-The Mount.

We have teams for emergency prayer, intercessory prayer and one-to-one prayer, which may be received either at our healing service at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, every Friday lunchtime; at The Mount; or in parishes by invitation. We also offer spiritual direction, counselling, mentoring and befriending. Our counsellors are professionally trained and registered. Likewise, I also teach on all aspects of the healing ministry and provide seminars on related topics to encourage and develop the spread and scope of the ministry.

Are there common misconceptions about healing ministry (i.e. does everyone get healed)?

People have different expectations of Christian healing and are disappointed if healing is not immediate and complete. Two ill-informed accusations are frequently and distressingly levied at people who haven’t experienced immediate healing, “There is sin in your life” and “You haven’t enough faith.”

However, everyone has sin in their life, therefore it is always necessary to pray prayers of confession before praying for healing – not just for the sick person but for those who pray, so that the ground is ‘clean’ before we move forward. The sick or troubled person may also have doubts about their faith, but faith resides in the one who prays, and so we join our faith to theirs when we pray with them. It is a relief that Jesus said that you have to have faith the size of a mustard seed.

 The frequently unspoken blockage to healing is un-forgiveness and bitterness, which need to be dealt with before healing takes place. This is a particularly delicate area of ministry, as people must be brought to the understanding of the necessity of forgiveness before healing happens. In all cases, prayer for healing is simple and always in the name of Jesus.

What is your vision for the future development of the Church’s Ministry of Healing?

Ultimately, I would like to see an active ministry of healing taking place as routine in every parish – that Jesus’ command to his disciples to “heal the sick who are there and tell them that the kingdom of God has come near” (Luke 9:2), would be taken as the mandate for every believer.

Until that happens, I would like to see more centres like The Mount, where ministry is offered free at the point of need, and where expertise can be taught. One of the most exciting things is watching someone nervously becoming involved in praying for healing and then seeing their prayers answered. They take a step of faith which God rewards with the healing they have requested. It is a striking way of evangelism. 

What do you find most challenging or rewarding about your involvement in healing ministry?

The biggest challenge that occurs is when someone walks in, unannounced, with serious suicidal ideations. You realise that because they have come, there is a part of them that wants to live, and you pray that God will open a way of communication to healing; so, you sit them down with a cup of tea and begin the listening journey. All the while, you pray silently for God to give you revelation and insight into their situation which will open a door of communication. 

For someone who is fragile, or diminished, and has been very badly hurt in life – to respect them in paying attention to their distress is very important and without putting them under duress; to be given the privilege of pointing them to Jesus and watch as he sets the captives free, releasing them from the darkest dungeon (Isaiah 61).

The biggest reward is seeing someone come to a living faith; trusting their present and future into Jesus’ hands, and knowing that they are truly loved. It is the healing of the relationship between the person and their heavenly Father. 

Biblical basis for Healing

Healing is a fundamental attribute of Almighty God, indeed, one of the names of Almighty God is Jehovah-Rapha–“the Lord who heals”.

A Lame Man Healed at the Gate of the Temple

Acts 3:1ffr

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!”  So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.  When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade.When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.

Almighty God seeks to heal the entire person; spiritually, mentally, and physically.  1 Peter 2:24ff: He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness: by his wounds you have been healed.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Matthew 14:14ff

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Jesus Heals the Sick    

Matthew 4:23

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.  He gave His followers power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  In Matthew Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.  He told them “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”