LONDON – The heir to the throne, who is a long-standing supporter of complementary and alternative medicine, made his comments on Friday morning after meeting ordinands at St Mellitus College, London’s newest Anglican theological training institution.
Discussing the trainee priests’ decision to go into the church, the Prince said: “It would seem in today’s world that this was a frightfully unfashionable thing to do, but ladies and gentleman, you are, in some extraordinary way, bucking the trend.”
He praised the work of the evangelical Alpha Course, which was founded by the parish vicar, Nicky Gumbel of Holy Trinity Brompton.
The Prince, who would become Supreme Governor of the Church of England if he is crowned king, said: “The fact that you are able to plant churches and help encourage congregations in some of these previously redundant, unused churches is again enormously encouraging and I greatly admire Nicky Gumbel and indeed his son for the work they are doing and for the work they are inspiring among so many of you.”
He went on: “One of the reasons I started my Foundation for Integrated Health was to try and encourage people to appreciate the fact that we are made up of mind, body and spirit.
“One of the great tragedies, it seems to me, about today’s world is the way in which it has become so fragmented that we can no longer see the whole picture, we no longer see the unity of things let alone our relationship and inter-connectedness with nature, because after all we are nature but somehow we are taught that we apart from it and not a part of it.”
The Prince referred to Marylebone Health Centre, which he opened in the crypt of a church in 1987 as the first NHS practice to use complementary therapies such as massage, acupuncture and homeopathy.
It is linked to a Healing and Counselling Centre where patients can receive “healing prayer” and “spiritual direction” with Christian priests.
The Prince said: “The thing I thought was so wonderful about that particular clinic was the fact that they used the Church of England spiritual healing mission.
“So often the doctors would tell me they would be able to send a patient down the corridor to the Church of England spiritual healing mission, who would have time to listen and it was the listening to the particular problem that people had, that actually helped the healing process.
“And again, so often those people that had been healed would come back to help with others.”
He went on: “It always seemed to me that in today’s world because of the fragmentation and the disconnection, the greatest challenge it seems is how do you reconnect people to anything like a spiritual understanding? It seemed to me that one way possibly was through healthcare, if you can reintroduce people to the mind, body and spirit element in their make up.”