Thank you for visiting us. A warm welcome whether you be a Trainee Healer, a Practicing Healer, an Associate or just a casual contact.
Treading a healing pathway is a most exciting journey. As we learn and realise we expand our consciousness and so reach a state of greater understanding, and compassion to be aware that life is all one and that we are responsible collectively and individually. This brings a responsibility and also a great freedom.
So, enjoy your journey, make your contribution and you will be surprised at the results – as so many already are.
60 YEARS AND PARTYING ONWARDS
A conversation with our chairman Jon Mabey
More than 30 years ago, enrolling on a healers’ training course at the Helios healing centre in St Leonards-on-Sea, I had my first encounter with our patient and long-serving chairman Jon Mabey, writes committee member Pauline Thompson. Over all those years, I have benefited often from his great kindness and wisdom, both spiritual and practical. The quality and relevance of his advice has not changed though, chatting together recently, we agreed that our lives and times certainly have. In this, the 60th year of the Sussex Healers’ Association, it is an occasion for celebration and reflection.
Though the essence and practice of healing remains constant, we both realised that the therapeutic landscape in which we operate certainly has altered, and it has had its effect on many organisations including our own. Jon reminds us that at its peak, SHA reached membership of more than 600. Today, that number has nearly halved, and tomorrow? Who knows? Neither of us do, but we do know that all of the members of our committee have reached retirement age (and beyond) and we wonder from where our replacement will come, if they arrive at all. Over the years, our appeals for new and hopefully younger, committee members have born little fruit.
Jon, who has completed 50 years as a healer and has spent 25 of those as SHA chairman, has recently moved into a residential care home. As a committee, we value his knowledge and experience and we are reluctant to let him retire, so Jon continues to keep a keen eye on the business and well-being of the association, and also on the Deerfold Centre, in Eastbourne, whose history is very much tied into the life of SHA. Our late president Lesley Baker and his wife Gladys bought the building and set up a centre as a charitable trust providing a place where small groups could meet (at a very low cost) in order to promote the practise of healing and spiritual development. Sadly, last year the Deerfold’s one remaining healing group, Gentle Hands, closed when its dedicated team of healers felt dwindling client numbers could no longer justify running those weekly sessions. Fortunately, folk can still take advantage of the sessions offered at Eastbourne’s Christian spiritualist Church.
To the pair of us, there used to be something so uncomplicated about offering contact or absent healing, which Jon and I are sure many other oldies like ourselves also remember from earlier days. Today, healing seems to have exploded into a therapeutic phantasmagoria of specific pathways, which cluster under the umbrella of complimentary therapies, a categorisation which SHA fought long and hard to avoid. Some of these therapies promote or derive from accepted streams of natural medicine, but just as many others have a place in an imaginative New Age catalogue of treatments. Practitioners have varied, too, and also the need for qualifications, membership of acceptable organisations and insurance. When we oldies began, insurance policies were for houses and cars, and healers almost always offered their services free or for small donations usually for the upkeep of their organisations. Today, many healing pathways promote expensive trainings to create professionals charging fees.
I was taught at Helios that healing is available to all and Jon reminds me that it is also a privilege of those who seek to share this gift with others. So these days it can feel quite disappointing to witness diminishing fortunes in the lives of healing groups, even such as our Friendly Group of Healing Associations, which we joined to maintain an independence under the threat of regulation of our practice. With diminished attendances at meetings, FGHA is still going, just. Many groups no longer function at all, so it is with pride that we can say SHA has nearly 400 members supporting or actively providing healing to others. That is still something to shout about, and the committee still hopes that others will come along to help continue to bring healing to individuals and our troubled world.
And 400 members and 60 years of service are two great reasons for a party! Jon and his committee are organising a 60th anniversary garden party at the delightful Manor Barn, Bexhill. Home to many of our popular seminars, the committee hopes this event on Sunday, June 30, will be a time for celebration and sharing.
Jon & Pauline