Lay Anointers

The Church’s ministry to the sick (and those in distress) is based on Jesus’ constant concern and care for those in need. It is reinforced by the Epistle of James’ admonition to the sick (and those in distress) to call for the elders of the Church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. James expects this rite to have three effects: the prayer of faith will save the sick; the Lord will raise them up; and their sins will be forgiven (Book of Alternative Services, Ministry to the Sick, pg. 551).

Bishop’s Committee on Healing

The Bishop’s Committee on Healing was established in 1971 by Archbishop Lewis Garnsworthy to support the ministry of healing in the Diocese. The formation of the committee has helped to re-establish healing as an integral part of the ministry of the Church. One of its responsibilities is the annual training of lay anointers to support pastoral care provided in parishes. Each anointer is licensed by the area bishop and works under the supervision of parish clergy. Further support is offered to lay anointers through refresher days held each year on topics helpful to their ministry.

The committee is committed to education across the Diocese, providing speakers as requested for parishes, area days, workshops, etc. on a variety of topics related to healing in the Church.

Committee members are Sr. Jocelyn SSJD, the Rev. Jo-Anne Billinger (Chair), Jane Winstanley, Beverly Kingsbury, the Rev. Carol Hardie, the Rev. Grace Caldwell-Hill, the Rev. Joanne Davies, Anita Gittens, Leah Springford.

For general information regarding the ministry of lay anointing, contact the Rev. Jo-Anne Billinger, St. Paul the Apostle Anglican Church, 416-743-1993,

Upcoming Events:

Lay Anointers Training Weekend: May 24-26, 2019

Offered by The Diocese of Toronto – The Bishop’s Committee on Healing  (BCH)

Location: The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine (SSJD),  233 Cummer Ave, North York, ON M2M 2E8

  • For individuals recommended by their clergy to be trained and equipped for the ministry of lay anointing in the Parish. Licenses may be granted by the area Bishop on successful completion of the lay anointer training course. Those training for this ministry will attend the full training weekend (Friday evening to Sunday after lunch).
  • Supervising clergy attend for approximately two hours on the Saturday afternoon.
  • Registrants require a letter of support from their supervising clergy to be sent to the Chair of the Bishop’s Committee on Healing in order to attend. c/o The Rev. Jo-Anne Billinger, Chair, BCH.
  • Registrants may register as a commuter (meals but no accommodation) or register to stay in the SSJD Guest House for the weekend which includes accommodation and meals. A limited number of rooms are set aside at SSJD for registrants wishing to stay in the Guest House so early registration is encouraged.
  • Online registration is open – Register Now to reserve your spot!
  • Clergy considering introducing the ministry of lay anointing in the Parish who would like more information about the ministry are welcome to contact the BCH. Please contact the Rev. Jo-Anne Billinger, Chair, BCH