This is the story of George Fox’s Christian healing ministry. The historic context of George Fox’s ministry can be found in the rediscovery of the Christian healing ministry in the twentieth century in Scotland by Cameron Peddie, a Church of Scotland parish minister in Glasgow whose story is told in his book The Forgotten Talent. In England, Anglican minister Howard Cobb began a healing ministry at Crowhurst in Sussex and this work was continued by another Anglican minister George Bennett who wrote Miracle at Crowhurst. In Italy a Capuchin Catholic priest called Padre Pio practised a healing ministry and became well known. Padre Pio Stories tells something of his ministry.
None of these men achieved high ecclesiastical office, nor were they honoured publicly to any extent. Cameron Peddie’s circle of ministers who were interested in healing was described as ‘the lunatic fringe’ at Glasgow University’s theological faculty. Howard Cobb’s and George Bennett’s ministries occurred in a social climate of indifference and against a theological context of scepticism. Padre Pio’s opposition came from the hierarchy of his own Church who regarded him as a dangerous maverick. In Scotland, George Fox received no recognition, encouragement or practical assistance from the Church of Scotland when he and his wife Doris left the security of parish ministry to devote themselves full time to healing. George Fox’s entire ministry was one of personal struggle and triumph.
Healing ministries cannot easily be categorised in terms of theology. George Fox is considered an evangelical because he confesses to personal faith in Jesus Christ. Cameron Peddie was a good and humble man. Padre Pio’s lifestyle was that of a celibate monk. Howard Cobb and George Bennett were married men associated with prayer and piety. All those associated with the rediscovery of the healing ministry in the twentieth century in Britain lived quietly. They were different in that respect from the extrovert showmanship of charismatic evangelists and healers of American Christianity with their performance and money dominated agendas. Manipulation and the pursuit of wealth later brought discredit to some there who had become well known through television.
There is of course in Christian history, another George Fox. The Founder of the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers) lived from 1624 to 1691. He was a strong and gifted man who endured hardship and opposition for his faith but left a large heritage of example and of alternative Christian practice which survives to this day. Scotland’s George Fox (1931 - 2015) was well named because he would manifest great resilience and overcome many discouragements throughout his long life. His redoubtable wife Doris was also great in character, faith and spirit, an anchor for George’s flights of imagination and a wise and perceptive counsellor to him all their married life. George and Doris Fox’s life circumstances were subjected to trials commensurate with apostolic calling as they were privileged to share in such an anointed ministry.
This true story begins with testimonies from people healed of illnesses by praying and the laying on of hands. George and Doris Fox’s early spiritual journey together is then described and some indication is given of the sacrifices they made in time for this calling. George Fox preached and ministered throughout Scotland and account of this is given. The founding of Braehead Christian Healing Centre in Crossford, Lanarkshire is central to the story. Some theological discussion seeks to answer questions associated with what is still regarded as a fringe activity in Christian Churches. The scale and span of George Fox’s healing ministry is shown in testimonies from more recent years. As befits this essentially devotional writing, healing prayers are included in conclusion.
George Fox himself asks, “What is ‘divine healing’ or ‘Christian healing’ as it is sometimes referred to?”. He suggests that we have to look at the Bible. In the Old Testament there are incidents of healing. The prophet Elijah restored the life and health of a widow’s only son (1 Kings 17:17f) and his disciple and successor Elisha was similarly instrumental (2 Kings 8:8f). Jesus’ future ministry is described in Isaiah chapter 53. Gorge Fox writes, “Jesus healed many people, sometimes in large groups and sometimes individually. People at that time asked the question, ‘What new teaching is this?’”. One third of each of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is devoted to Jesus’ healing ministry and it was central to the first preaching of the Gospel. Luke 9: 2 records that Jesus sent his disciples out “to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick” and Luke 10:9 records Jesus saying to them, “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you’”.
In Jesus’ post resurrection Great Commission to his followers recorded in Matthew 28:19f he says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”; there is no mention of healing. However in Mark 16:15f, we read of Jesus saying, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation….these signs will accompany those who believe…they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well”. This could be interpreted as a possibility that all Christian believers can and should heal the sick. In Luke 24:49 Jesus is recorded as saying, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high”. John’s Gospel 20:22 conflates this with resurrection blessing. “And with this (Jesus) breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven”.
Healing was central to Jesus own ministry and he transferred this gift and power to his disciples both before and after his death and resurrection. Healing was central to the initial mission of the Christian apostles. As the Church became established over the centuries the radical obedience of Christians lessened and it seems that the ministry of healing became a specialised ministry given to a few anointed for that purpose. Reformation Christianity had no place for healing ministry and John Calvin thought that the miracles recorded in the New Testament belonged to their time only. This was why Cameron Peddie called the story of his discovery of the healing ministry The Forgotten Talent. George Fox is God’s anointed minister of Christian healing for his generation in Scotland.
At the outset, it should be acknowledged that not all prayers for healing are answered as those who pray would wish. Indeed, this is so much part of the fabric of contemporary Christian healing ministry that some argue that it is not worth the effort. However, the same disproportion of results follows the preaching of the Gospel, for by no means are all who listen converted to Jesus Christ. The key to this may not be to blame God but to admit that it is our weakness of faith and our distance from apostolic commitment that lessens the impact of Christian healing ministry in our time. Even so, George Fox’s ministry has been remarkable with clinical prognoses reversed and terminal diagnoses overturned. Along with spectacular healings there have been many cases of improvement, amelioration and comforting of body and mind, soul and spirit brought to suffering people in the name of Jesus Christ.
Public Testimonies Of Healing
Over the years George Fox’s healing ministry created and received publicity in the media, in national and local newspapers, on radio and on television. Journalists attended his healing services and reported their observations. People who had been healed offered their testimonies of miraculous healings, some which were spectacular reversals of clinical prognoses.
On January 15th 1994 the Glasgow newspaper the Weekend Times published an article entitled Kung Fu Kick Saved My Life as a exclusive by reporter Rachel Adam. “Kung Fu expert Robert Blair sank to the floor in agony. In the middle of a martial arts bout, his mate Angus Meudel unleashed a ferocious attack. A blow to his midriff stunned Robert, then the pain hit him and he collapsed. But it was a kick in the guts which would save Robert’s life. When he was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation, surgeons were shocked to discover a malignant cancer growing in his body. The super fit fighter had no idea the tumour was there. Yet there was nothing the doctors could do. An immediate operation was ruled out because 29 year old Robert had to be given time to recover from his first operation. They, including a visiting Swiss cancer expert told him he would have to wait six months before they removed the growth, a soft tissue sarcoma, from his stomach. But as the young car spray painter from Larbert, Stirlingshire faced the biggest crisis of his life, his Mum Janette had other ideas. She persuaded him to visit a faith healer. Janette arranged for him to visit former Church of Scotland minister the Reverend George Fox at his Christian Healing Centre in the village of Crossford, Lanarkshire. Robert made four visits to the Centre for the laying in of hands sessions. He said, ‘In the laying on of hands the only sensation I was aware of was warmth. It was a tingling heat, much greater than you would have expected just from the warmth of someone’s hands’. When he returned to the hospital for an exploratory operation the surgeons were astonished. Robert’s stomach cancer had vanished. ‘When I came out from the anaesthetic. Doctors told me the sarcoma had gone’, said Robert. ‘At first I thought they had removed it, but they explained that there was no sign of any growth. At first I had to go back for check-ups every three months. Now I just go back for an annual scan’. Robert and his wife Jane (28) are now looking forward to a great year with their new arrival, eleven weeks old Emily-Jane. Said Robert, ‘Being injured at Kung Fu was the luckiest thing to happen to me’”.
On January 31st 1979 the Daily Express published an article entitled Miracle of young John. “Three year old Johnny was suffering from a very serious form of rheumatoid arthritis and was given little hope by doctors. But a few days after a thirty minute laying on of hands session with Reverend George Fox, Johnny was running around like any normal healthy youngster. Yesterday his mother Mrs Marion Stevenson, of Eastwood Crescent, Viewpark, near Glasgow took Johnny back to see Mr Fox at his home in Gargunnock, near Stirling. He was delighted to see a changed Johnny and said, ‘When Johnny first came to see me last year he was in terrible pain. He couldn’t walk and his body was very badly swollen. It’s marvellous to see him the way he is now’. Dr Gary Mearns who treated Johnny said, ‘He is certainly feeling better but there is no way of saying how long this could last. Johnny is suffering from an aggressive form of a disease known as Still’s Disease. It is difficult to out a precise finger on the reason for his present degree of improvement. There is no doubt that the pain is alleviated and yet his physiotherapists say that X-rays show that there is no appreciable change in the swelling in his joints’. Mrs Stevenson said, ‘Johnny is fantastic and plays football, pedals his car and runs about with his young friends. I can’t thank the Reverend Fox enough because Johnny is doing things we could never have hoped for’”. On May 28th 1986 the Glasgow Evening Times published an article entitled MIRACLE MAN How wee John got a new lease of life. A large photograph taken by Ian Turner accompanied the article. It showed Johnny Stevenson, now aged ten years, playing football with the Reverend George Fox. The article continued, “In the living room of an Uddingston, Lanarkshire home, a ten year old boy rolls happily around on the carpet. On a sideboard, a handsome bronze trophy gleams, the boy’s treasured prize which he won in a judo contest”.
On December 11th 1994, the Sunday Post published an article with an accompanying family photograph entitled He brought baby back. “Little Siobhan Stevenson, Mount Florida, Glasgow was only five weeks old when she became critically ill with meningitis. Her parents Hugh (25) and Jackie (27) rushed her to hospital. Eight days later doctors in intensive car told them that there was no hope. Siobhan was brain-dead and couldn’t survive. Doctors wanted permission to turn off the life support machine. Jackie was allowed to hold her dying baby in her arms. ‘We sent word to George Fox to ask him to pray for her, and Siobhan kept on breathing’, says Jackie. ‘We firmly believe a miracle took place there. Prayer helped her to survive’. Three weeks later Siobhan was allowed home, although the Stevensons were warned that the meningitis had caused brain damage and blindness. Her movements on her left side were restricted. Hugh and Jackie took her to see George Fox. He laid his hands on all three and said he believed Siobhan wasn’t blind. Tests later proved him right. Siobhan has also recovered movement on her left side and every month that passes shows signs of improvement. ‘From time to time we take her to George Fox’, says Jackie. ‘There hasn’t been a total healing. It’s a gradual improvement’. Siobhan celebrated her second birthday at the end of October”.
On 14th February 1983 the Daily Express published an article by Bill Greig entitled FAITH and the miracle that gave Sadie Currie her sight back. District nurse Sadie Currie, virtually blind and facing death saw a blinding flash of light when a former Church of Scotland minister laid his hands on her head. And she saw again. She believes it was a miracle and an eminent eye surgeon backs her by saying that her dramatic improvement was due to her visit to the faith healer, the Reverend George Fox, of Avonbridge, near Falkirk. In Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital there are photographs which illustrate the sudden change in her chronic condition. Sadie, 55, from Mallaig Road, Glasgow, says, ’I remember the light clearly. I could hardly see anything, but bright lights gave me real pain. There were bright lights at the service and I sat the whole time in agony. Then I went up to Mr Fox and he laid his hands on my head. I can remember a flash of white light and I fainted. I do not know how long I was out for but when I woke up I could not believe it. My headache had gone and I could see clearly. I felt a new woman’. Mr Fox said, ‘Sadie came forward along with others. I put my hands on her head and she fell to the floor. She then went away and a couple of weeks later came to tell me how much better she had become. She explained that she said nothing at the time because she wanted her improvement checked by the specialists at the hospital in Glasgow. But she came to see me a second time when her eyesight had once again all but gone. I laid my hands on her and said a prayer. Suddenly she could see again’. Dr James Williamson, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and a Consultant in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Southern general Hospital has no doubt that Sadie’s recovery was due to her visits to Mr Fox. ‘There was objective medical evidence of physical illness before her visit and there was objective medical evidence when she returned that this had dramatically improved’, he said. ‘I have photographs which clearly demonstrate the change which took place. The improvements definitely took place after her visits to Mr Fox. I am more than prepared to accept that the improvement was as a result of her beliefs’”. The article was accompanied by a photograph of Sadie in her district nurse’s uniform sitting smiling at the steering wheel of her car.
The article continued, “Sadie’s story starts in 1967. ‘I began to get blurring in my right eye. The doctors put me on steroid drugs’, she says. ‘There is a major problem with the continued use of steroids by women. They can lead to male characteristics being developed. I started to look like a typical heavy user of the drug. My face got round and I began to grow hair on my chin’. Yet the drugs were having little effect. Her illness became worse. ‘I had intense headaches, psychological problems and my eyesight was failing very quickly’, she says. Then the neurosurgeons at the Southern General Hospital finally diagnosed what was wrong. Sadie was suffering from benign intercranial hypertension. To the layman it is water on the brain. ‘The problem facing the doctors was how to reduce the pressure. They decided to insert a shunt and I underwent surgery’, she says. ‘But I continued to get more and more ill. My eyesight had all but gone. I could not drive my car and my memory was failing. I was seeing a psychologist because I was also suffering from massive depression’. Then a friend suggested they go to see the Reverend George Fox. ‘I went because when you are desperate you will grab at anything’, says Sadie. That night when she returned home able to see again and feeling a new woman, her husband Pat and her twenty-three year old son Duncan would not believe her. ‘We thought she was having us on’, says Duncan. ‘She had left here a very sick woman and returned in almost perfect health’. But some time after this first ‘healing’ Sadie’s symptoms began to return. ‘I became very ill again and I was admitted to the Southern General Hospital. But I was too ill to operate on. Then one day the eye surgeon came me. He looked really grave and he said there was nothing more that medicine could do for me. ‘Perhaps, he said, ‘you should go back to Mr Fox’. Dr Williamson said, ‘There comes a point where medical treatment can do no more. Mrs Currie had reached that stage. She was getting worse and would have eventually have gone blind and she could have died. Mr Fox had helped her before and I told her that perhaps she could visit him again. It is quite probable that there are forces outside the body which are inducible by some people’. Mr Fox said, ‘I am very happy for Sadie. She comes to my services regularly. I think that many people still do not fully understand that God can intervene to heal’. Sadie said, ‘Mr Fox is a wonderful man. I could not see and my sight came back. I was suffering and facing death and now I am as well as I have been at any time in my life. I drive my car and look after my patients. I know that my faith gave me a miracle’”.
The Sunday Mail published an article Baffled by success on June 10 1973 featuring four cases. “Mrs Margaret Fotheringham, 66, of Hawthorn Avenue, Coalsnaughton, recently redecorated her house. But two years ago she lay paralysed. She had had a cerebral haemorrhage, and had fallen and had broken her arm in three places. She was unconscious when Mr Fox arrived at her home. He daughter, Mrs Margaret Grieve, takes up the story. ‘The doctor told us that even if she did recover from the attack, she would be confined to a wheel chair. She was so bad she couldn’t even be moved into an ambulance. But within three minutes of Mr Fox’s healing by the laying on of hands, I watched her foot start to twitch and her body begin to move. By the end of the week she was able to get up and sit in a chair, and a few weeks later, she could move out of the house to stay with me. The improvement continued - then she had to go into hospital for an operation on her arm’. Mrs Fotheringham went on, ‘After the operation the surgeon said that my arm had been so badly broken that there was not very much that they could do with it. I would never be able to use it again. But look’, she said, lifting her arm right above her head, ‘That was thanks to Mr Fox’s healing. When I showed the surgeon I could swing my arm about, he just couldn’t believe it’.
Mrs Helen Masson, 54, of Braehead Avenue, Tullibody, said, ‘I had an accident at home and damaged my spine. Nerves had been damaged and I couldn’t even hold a pen in my right hand to write. I had started to write with my left hand. I had to ear a surgical collar and I dragged my leg. I couldn’t move my head and couldn’t lift my right arm above my head. There didn’t seem to be anything the doctors could do - I had been like that for three years’. When Mrs Masson’s first grandchild was born, relatives had to lift the baby into her lap so she could hold the child. ‘Mr Fox gave me laying on of hands. The pain left me almost immediately and I felt sleepy. Right away I stretched both arms above my head and stretched my whole body. The cure was instant. That was about two years ago and I’ve been fine since’.
Mrs Betty Graham of Ramsay Street, Coalsnaughton says she is free of pain for the first time in twenty five years. ‘After the birth of my first child I got a pain in the lower part of my back, which crippled me. Eventually, doctors told me that I’d just have to live with it. They said that the muscles in that part of my back were knotted together and would never straighten out. I used to take pain killers but I got used to them and they didn’t do any good. I was never what you’d call a very religious person, but I went along to Mr Fox. The very first time I got the laying on of hands, I felt relief. There was what I can only describe as a gentle warmth in my back. After treatment, which lasted several months, I was free of pain for the first time in all these years.
Mrs Maude Irvine, 53, of 49 Craigview, Sauchie was badly injured in a car accident. Her neck was broken in three places. Months of operations and hospital treatment followed. At the end of it all doctors told her that she would never again be able to move her head more than a couple of inches from side to side. But they were proved wrong. Says Mrs Irvine, ’Mr Fox gave me the laying on of hands on the back of my neck. I could feel something holding it like a vice. We prayed and I felt a warm feeling through me. Mr Fox told me to move my head - and suddenly I discovered I could move it right the way round. It was as if something had unlocked inside’”.
The Sunday Mail’s reporter commented. “In 1956 the British Medical Association did a certain amount of investigation for a report which was sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Divine Healing. Said the BMA, ‘We can find no evidence that there has been any type of illness cured by spiritual healing alone which could not be cured by medical treatment’. Most medical men out claims of cures down to wrong diagnosis or the state of mind of the patient”.
On March 10th 1979 the Glasgow newspaper The Weekly News published an article entitled They Come From All Over The World To That Remarkable House Of Healing In Gargunnock. It continued, “Just over a year ago Harry Meek read an article in The Weekly News on divine healer, the Reverend George Fox. He made an appointment, visited Mr Fox - and ended a year of constant, unbearable pain that had doctors baffled. For Harry, like so many others, Mr Fox was the last resort when medicine had failed. His story is typical of those who seek this very special kind of healing. ‘I was at my wits end, I had nowhere left to turn’, said 56 year old Harry of Bellshill, Lanarkshire. ‘I woke up one Saturday morning with a headache which grew steadily worse. I’ve had them before and after taking aspirins they always went away. But not this one. It was with me all that day, and the next and the next. The pain was incredible. My doctor prescribed countless different pills but nothing did any good. I was determined to keep on with my work as a plasterer but the pain was making it almost impossible to concentrate on anything. After nearly a year I went to see a neurologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. I was examined and X-rayed from all angles. Nothing in my past medical history offered any reason. The doctors were stumped. They said they just couldn’t understand why I should suffer from the pains. A week after reading The Weekly News article I contacted Mr Fox. I must admit I was very sceptical. Faith healing was something I’d never given credence to. But I was desperate. That visit was the most incredible experience of my life. I was ushered into a room with Mr Fox and his assistant Bett Cowan, a former nurse. He sat me down in a chair and rested his hands on my head. For 45 minutes he stood there talking to me and praying. About half way through I began to feel ill. I’m told I turned blue then purple. When my daughter who was waiting outside saw me she almost fainted. She said she could see right through me. At home I went straight to bed. The headache was still there, only worse. But Mr Fox had said I wouldn’t have to go back and I believed him. Next morning when I woke up the headache was gone. It’s never been back since. After a year of pure hell the relief was beyond words. I can’t thank Mr Fox enough. He completely changed my life by what he did and I’ll never forget it’”.
The same newspaper carried an article entitled Susan Keeps Her Promise on January 21st 1978. It said, “For over nine years Susan Fordham suffered an intense neuralgic-type pain and when her minister invited her to attend a divine healing service she gladly accepted because she was nearly at her wits end searching for relief. It was then she made a promise to her minister that if she was cured she would take up his offer to become Captain of the Girls’ Brigade. Mrs Fordham kept her promise and is now captain of nearly 80 girls of the 2nd Polmont Company of the Girls’ Brigade, for, during the past year, she has been absolutely free from the agonising pain that struck every three weeks! It sounds like a miracle and according to Mrs Fordham, that’s exactly what it is. ‘I’m now living a new life and even when skies are grey I feel it’s great to be living life to the full again’, she said this week. The Reverend Hugh Talman, Polmont North Church said, ‘I’m delighted that Mrs Fordham has been cured from the severe pain she suffered. She made ma a promise and was able to keep it’, he added. It was just over a year ago that Mrs Fordham went to a divine healing service with Mr Talman. Conducting the service was the Reverend George Fox, a 47 year old Church of Scotland minister who gave up his charge to devote all his time to healing the sick and disabled. Mr Fox, who prays and lays his hands on the patient at the end of each service asserts : ‘It’s not me who helps patients. They are cured by the direct intervention of God in a given situation’. Mr Fox works with the co-operation of many doctors, some of whom even send patients to him at his home in Gargunnock or at the weekly Sunday afternoon services in Grahamston United Church. Mrs Fordham and many others have cause to thank the day they paid Mr Fox a visit. She herself suffered from a complaint called trigeminal neuralgia and was treated by doctors in Brightons, Falkirk, Glasgow and Edinburgh without success. Then she heard about Mr Fox and has never regretted her decision to go and see him”.
Personal Testimonies Of Healing
The following testimonies are dedicated to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ who heals. They are included in the hope of encouraging those in need of healing to turn to the Lord Jesus as the source of all healing and to know that he is able to meet their every need. His touch has still its ancient power. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Different problems and situations are described but each person explains in their own words what God has done for them personally or for a loved one. These testimonies may help you to realise that no matter how great or how small your problem may be, nothing is impossible with God.
Sarah Deans, Port Glasgow - Breast Cancer - 1981
My doctor found some hard tissue in my breast and referred me to the surgeon. After examination he said that I had only a 50-50 chance of survival. Through you God’s hands healed me and when I went back to the doctor he could not find any lump and asked for the surgeon to examine me again. He could find no lump at all. I will never stop praising God and thanking him for his goodness to me. I would delight to say a big ‘Thank you’ to you and your team for all you have done for me. My visits to you were moving experiences I will never forget.
Judith Scollay, Edinburgh - Breast Cancer - 1988
I’m the lady who phoned you one Sunday morning about three weeks ago at 11 00am. I was upset and in great pain with second degree burns on my right breast after radiotherapy treatment and a double implant of fifteen radioactive needles in my breast to try and shrink a tumour which grew quickly from a small lump discovered last September. You told me that Sunday that you’d put me on your absent healing prayer list and I’d like you to know that the radioactive burn healed up very rapidly after my phone call to you. By the end of the same week, new pink skin began forming and the terrible pain began to recede. Now it has totally healed though still discoloured with the intensive radiation treatment. You laid hands on me last Thursday night and asked Christ to dissolve this tumour and heal me. The day before, I had had an appointment with the radiotherapy consultant at the Infirmary. He told me that although the tumour has softened with the radiotherapy, the malignant lump was still in my right breast. The effects of the radiation treatment will go on for three months. They will see me again in July and discuss with me then further treatment if necessary. With Christ’s healing power channelled into me through you, I am praying that this lump will disappear and that I will be made completely well again. …I believe that His touch has still its ancient power now in this twentieth century if we only have the faith to let it take over…I shall attend your healing service in Edinburgh in May and June asking you to lay hands on me again to finally disperse this malignant growth in my right breast. You worked so hard with everyone that evening, giving of yourself and the power given you from above. I could tell Christ’s presence in that ancient Church last Sunday evening and the sincerity of you and your helpers. God bless your ministry of healing.
Margaret, sister-in-law of May Waytasinska - Bo’ness - Cancer - 1988
Thank you for the wonderful help you have given my sister-in-law Margaret. Seven weeks ago she was given two weeks to live and all medication except painkillers was withdrawn. Since then she has made a remarkable recovery. She is very much alive, sitting up and talking normally again. She is still ill and needs prayer but we all know that divine intercession has taken place. Thank you once again most sincerely and my best wishes and prayers go to you and Mrs Fox for all the good you do.
Gavin Ross, Calgary - Cancer - 1988
Gavin Ross who had been desperately ill with cancer is now at school five days a week, full time. Although he is very tired by the end of the week he is thrilled to be back. Everyone is expecting still greater things through the power of prayer for Gavin and his family. Gavin was able to attend full time the last few weeks of the term. He has caught up with his classmates and is able to proceed with them to their next class. He and his family are so delighted. He is on holiday from school. He has had to go back into hospital with a liver infection but there is no sign of cancer. He is allowed home each day for several hours but he must stay in hospital overnight as his temperature is very carefully monitored. This set back is being taken in his stride and is not worrying him at all. Everybody concerned is amazed at how sell he is coping. Prayer works wonders.
Caroline Taylor, Montrose - Cancer - 1988
This is to let you know about my Caroline Taylor my granddaughter. Caroline had to have a lump taken from her breast. She had this done at Stracathro Hospital near Buchan. When the lump was investigated at Ninewells Hospital Dundee, what a relief when Caroline got the news that it was a benign lump. I went down on my knees and thanked God. Reverend Fox, thank you for the prayers for Caroline, thank you for giving Caroline absent healing, thank you for your kindness when you spoke with me on the phone and for the lovely little letter and healing cards. All this helped me through a very worrying time and also helped Caroline as I gave her the lovely wee letter with a healing card. You do such wonderful work. May Braehead House flourish. Thank your secretary and your wife who I am sure do much good work. Thank you again.
Mrs L M Gow, Airdrie - Migraine - 1978
I am a housewife of 31 with two toddlers. I have suffered from severe and frequent migraine attacks since the age of 12. These were also accompanied by weird visual effects. I suffered from sickness on many other days. I attended doctors and homeopathic doctors for years to no avail. I was so pleased to read about you in the Sunday Mail and I felt sure that through you I would be healed at last. At the service one of your helpers laid hands on me and I felt a peaceful floating feeling. A few minutes later I felt a smile spreading involuntarily over all my face and my whole being felt flooded with a fantastic feeling of joy. Your helper said, ‘You are cured’ and I replied, ‘I know, I know’. Previously I was full of doubts and feelings of unworthiness. Now I feel that I am starting life again. Thank you for the work you do in the name of Jesus.
Catherine McFarlane, Glasgow - Emphysema - 1995
Last Sunday I went to your service for the first time. I have emphysema and I find it very difficult to breathe when I walk. However when I saw so many young people in the church I wondered why I was there. After all, I am nearly 70 and have had a life. I came how after your moving service and I am now able to walk around the house for a while without becoming breathless. More importantly I can now make a meal for my husband and myself…I am looking forward to my second visit tomorrow and I have pleasure in enclosing a donation with my thanks to everyone concerned.
Ivor Watson, Armagh - Brain Tumour - 1996
GREAT NEWS! IVOR WATSON’S treatment for the large tumour in his brain has been beneficial, so much so that after four and a half months in hospitals, he has recovered sufficiently to be allowed home and he was able to be taken to Church on Sunday. I noticed a little change for the better about a week after I first wrote to you about him and he improved every week thereafter with the assistance of thirty laser treatments. The consultant says that the tumour is still there but Ivor’s life expectancy has been extended. We wish to thank you all in the Prayer Group for their prayers and Ivor will write to you himself.
Maureen, Kinross - Nerve Damage - 1995
I am writing to you today in an effort to express my thanks to you all. Words cannot express my thanks enough. I came to your healing service last Sunday, 12th March. The muscles and nerves of the right side of my face were damaged while a dentist was extracting a tooth. I was sent to a consultant neurologist. He described the problem as ‘a hemispherical spasm’ and he added that it was too early to tell if the peripheral nerve was damaged. I was offered injections into my face every three months to dull down the muscle and nerve spasms but this ran the risk of paralysis or my throat causing difficulty in swallowing. The only alternative if my condition worsened was a major operation to go in behind my ear and remove my face to repair and reconstruct. On Sunday morning my face was very swollen and felt worse. My eye had a continuous twitch and there was an accompanying headache around it. When I went out in the cold my face would swell, tighten and go into spasms. I could not move the right side of my mouth. It was pulled and when I spoke or smiled it was squint. I came to your service and saw many needy people around me. I felt I had a nerve asking for help. There were so many other people who needed your help more than me. I was mobile and my trouble was not life threatening. I therefore felt very humble. I was walking back to my car when I felt able to move the corner of my mouth. Gradually I felt a tingle creep up my cheek and I could smile. My face was rather swollen still but by the time we drove home, travelling about two hours, my face swelling had reduced by half. Over the next two days my face got better and better. I now have only a slight puffiness under my eye and I have no twitch or headache. My feet haven’t touched the ground yet. I am so happy. My little daughter of seven years said that I now have a new smile. I thank God constantly and I wish to thank you and your team. I cannot understand how this healing prayer worked for me but I pray it worked for others I saw on that day. The work you do offers hope to people who may have none and in their despair you help when doctors cannot…I thank you for all the good work you do. May God bless you all. THANK YOU all once again. I owe you a debt I can never repay.
Mary (not her real name), Glasgow - Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME)
George Fox writes, “Mary caught a virus at twelve years of age. She did not recover and so she missed most of her secondary education. She lay in bed all day long with every muscle aching. Daylight was sore on her eyes and so the windows of her bedroom were shaded. Doctors had diagnosed that she was suffering from ME. They knew of no cure and suggested only rest. By the time Mary was fifteen she was weak and exhausted and permanently withdrawn. She said, ‘I could not go out with friends like other teenagers as I had no energy. Worse than that however, I had totally lost confidence in myself’. Mary’s parents had decided to bring her to Braehead House for a private appointment during the week. She needed help to get up the two small steps into the house. With such a lack of confidence, she had to have her mother with her. I explained to her that I was simply going to pray with her and put my hands on her head for a few moments and said that there was nothing for her to worry about. I saw her on three further occasions with her mother beside her. I had arranged to see her again, but this time she told her mother that she was coming into the room by herself. Her mother was surprised at this and felt that she was no longer needed. Mary said that she would never forget what happened to her that night. ‘He put his hands on me and prayed. There was a sensation of warmth and energy coming into my body and when I left Braehead House I felt as if I could have walked home. It was wonderful’. In all Mary visited me over a period of eight weeks. At our official opening of Braehead House this young woman had agreed to give her testimony. However when faced with such a large audience she felt overwhelmed and asked her mother to tell her story. After she had done so Mary gave me a hug and a kiss and the congregation erupted in spontaneous applause. She was then too old to go back to school. However, she took a job as a wages clerk. She never lost a single day’s work. Eventually she got married and the last time I saw her she was very happy and had a young family. She said, ‘The night my family took me to Braehead House changed my life forever. I will never stop being grateful for the help I received’.
Marion B Findlay, Glasgow - Arthritis
I am an atheist and only came back to the Church at my daughter’s insistence. I received healing while I was there. I have suffered from arthritis for three years. I was steadily getting worse until eventually I was reduced to using a wheel chair. I could not walk at all without great pain and my doctors instructed me to use the chair at all times, even in the house. Stairs were impossible without help. My hands deteriorated until they were of little use to me. Now I can walk unaided with a little pain but nothing like it was before when I tried to get out of the car to enter the Church. I can now bend my left hand into a fist which I could not do before and although my right hand has not yet improved I am getting better all the time. I am still an atheist but I have to admit that my dramatic improvement can only be put down to my healing at the Church.
Lorraine Webster, Stenhousemuir - Arthritis - 1978
I would like to thank you and the group for all the help I have had. I no longer regard myself as a disabled person, and can tackle any job I was doing before my arthritic affliction. I would like to say that since attending the divine healing service I have a deeper understanding towards religion and thoroughly enjoy the Sunday morning service in my own Church and your services in the afternoon at Falkirk.
Brian Johnstone, Cumberauld - Cancer Symptoms - 1996
It would seem that the cancer cells or at least the traces in my blood are no longer showing, so doctors are saying that they are pretty confident that I am cured. I would like to express my thanks to yourself and your prayer group for all your efforts on my behalf as they seem to have fallen on open ears. Once again, my heartfelt thanks.
Nancy Varney, Clydebank - Cancer Symptoms - 1992
I am feeling so much better and I have had wonderful news. I had a liver scan last Tuesday and of the three spots on my liver two had gone completely and the third was half the size. I had my chest x-ray before my treatment on Thursday and on first examination the doctor said that the results were excellent too and he had difficulty finding the spots on my lung. The Lord has been good to me and I am sure that Mr Fox laying his hands on me cured my two spots and helped the rest. I am sure that I will now continue to improve, so many thanks.
Peter Dyson, Doncaster - Cancer - 1984
When I rang you there did not appear to be any hope of Peter coming home. Over the last eighteen months the cancer has spread rapidly in his body and it was thought that it had spread to his brain. I took the prayer cards and the leaflet that you sent to Peter with the news that you were praying for him. He started, praise God, to improve at the same time that I rang you. Subsequently scans have proved that the cancer has not spread to his brain. He has now been allowed home and he is much better…he looks well and is very hopeful. I thank God that he led me to you. Please continue to pray for Peter.
Anne McDonald, Glasgow - Haemorrhoids - 1983
Just a little note to thank you most sincerely for allowing yourself to be used as a channel of healing by Jesus. I attended the Church service at Mount Florida a week past last Tuesday as I had haemorrhoids. Since then I have had wonderful relief. It is too wonderful for words.
Mairi McKissed, Dumbarton - Tummy Pain - 1984
A little note to let you know how I am keeping. My health is much improved and the pain in the upper part of my tummy has gone completely. God’s blessing on all your wonderful work.
Morag Hunter, Ardraishaig - Depression - 1995
I know you will be interested to hear how well I am feeling. My depression about my illness and the future is much improved and other symptoms seem better also. My understanding of my situation is puzzling but even imagination could not bring about such a change in me. After Christmas I return to hospital for further scans. Please remember me in your prayers.
Margaret Wilson - Acute Back Pain
Aged fifteen I suffered from acute back pain and was unable to get out of bed without pain radiating down my legs into my feet. I was unable to bend down to put on socks or tights, tie laces or put on shoes. I also had difficulty in carrying anything. When George placed his hands on my back, it felt burning hot and when the surface of the skin was touched it was the same temperature as the rest of my body. This hot sensation continued for some time after George had left. I fell asleep and slept through the night for the first time since my back had become painful. When I wakened in the morning my pain had gone and I was able to move freely. I have only had one incidence of back pain since, and this was as a result of lifting wrongly when I was in my early forties. Other than this I have had no back problems and I am now aged fifty six. Thank you.
Margaret Morrison, Aberdeen - 2001 - Elbow Pain
Since being prayed for at St Mark’s Church, Aberdeen on Sunday 18th I have been so full of the Holy Spirit, joy and praise with thankfulness to our God and Saviour. The pains I had been experiencing in my elbows have all gone! I’d been standing in faith and speaking to my body for several weeks claiming, ‘By His stripes you are healed’. but obviously I needed the extra help in the laying on of hands and prayer. I would, in turn, to join you in praying for the sick and ask that you would consider accepting me as a prayer partner.
Bette, Blantyre - 2001 - Eye Haemorrhage and Blockage
I was at the consultant yesterday and he was very pleased about my eye condition. He said that my eyes were ‘clear’ and the haemorrhage and blockage were no longer there. I still have a ‘lid’ condition and a cyst on the lower lid of my right eye but he has told me to bathe my eyes with hot water to alleviate this. He also said that I had been ‘extremely lucky’…I am really pleased and once again would like to thank all of you for your prayers and support and I know God has been with me, especially during this worrying time.
Ian, Lesley-Ann, Amy, Blair and Ben Hutchison, Victoria, Australia - 2001 - Heart Problems
Hi, remember this little man! I thought I would send you a recent photo of him and let you know how he is going. He is keeping very well and has just had another cardiac assessment which shows his pressures are down even further and a re nearly normal. They were so pleased with his progress and they don’t want to see him for two whole years. Can you believe it? We thank God every day for having him here with us and feel truly blessed. We also thank everyone at Braehead House for their prayers and good wishes and ask you to keep him in your prayers.
Alexis Stevenson, Duror - 2000 - Inner Healing
Many weeks ago, I spoke to you about my adoptive mother whose physical and mental state were of fearful concern to all. It is incredulous how the power of prayer has touched the innermost core of her being. She is not only at peace with herself but has stopped the fooling process and the harsh disruptive attitude to herself and those around her. I am sincerely thankful to you for your generosity of spirit and compassion.
Lorna McCulloch, aged 12, Crookedholm - Depression
I am writing to thank you for the miracle you worked on me. Although it w as God who sent the help for me, it came through your hands. I visited you a few weeks ago to ask for your help. I came to you with a horrible illness called depression that was ruining my life. I had no self-confidence and hated myself. I came to see you for one hour and after a day or two I felt the difference. I have been on anti-depressants and my doctor hopes to bring me off them in a month or two. She thinks I am recovering and can go back to a normal life. I can feel it myself that I am getting better and it is all thanks to you and God for giving you this gift. I am also getting better at school and went skiing to Aviemore. I cannot thank you enough for helping me.
Fiona, Richard and Jean, Newton Mearns - 2002
I report to you that we have had remarkable progress. Jean is completely free of multiple myeloma which is a type of blood cancer. The doctor had expected to treat her for two years after which time it would be under control and then a process of management would begin. So, you can imagine how surprised medical staff were at the disappearance / healing of the cancer. So, once gain, the testimony that God really does want us and is able to heal us completely. Jean has been incredibly strong. Never being afraid, never being bitter, but just hoping for many years to enjoy family, friends, politics, food etc., and it looks as if this is a distinct possibility. So, that you for your team of prayers. It really, really works.
Lassie, (pet dog of Dorothy Taylor), Glasgow - 1988
Thank you so much for your nice letter. It cheered me up. The lump in Lassie’s throat is much smaller and she is able to eat her food now and is playing around like a puppy with her ball, although she is eleven years old. I was so glad to hear you made such a wonderful recovery and I am hoping and praying that Lassie will do the same. I will let you know how she gets on.
These testimonies affirm the existence of divine healing. The story of how George Fox came to be used as a channel of healing corroborates these testimonies. For George and Doris Fox and for their daughter Ruth, this ministry called for sacrifices and for apostolic suffering over the years. They did not have an easy life. Their journey was not always smooth and trouble free. Their dedication to this ministry was a help and blessing to many. They were privileged to share in such a powerful ministry of the risen Lord Jesus and to give proof and evidence in an age of falling away from Christianity that the love of God is real, available and effective still.
The Beginnings of Healing Ministry
George Fox was born in Academy Street, Armadale, West Lothian, Scotland on 2nd February 1931. He was one of six children, the fourth of three boys and three girls. His father was a master baker and his mother was a full time wife and mother whose skills included making clothes for the family. Life was not easy but it was happy and the children were well cared for. George’s father made sure that they all went to the local Church of Scotland and to Sunday School every Sunday. When the Second World War began George remembers standing in the garden watching German fighter planes flying over their heads, seeming almost to touch the house chimney pots. He remembers seeing the three man air crews every three minutes making their way to bomb Clydebank.
Soon after this, the family moved to Edinburgh at a time when many were leaving the city for safer places. The children continued going to Sunday School for a time but new friends and different interests weakened this commitment. George suffered from poor sight and he was moved to a school in Kelso for a year before returning to Edinburgh. There were lots of young people in the street where they lived and George made many friends. He got some of them together and formed a cycling club. This, he says, gave him an excuse not to go to Church as they went cycling every week-end. At that time George had little interest in the Church and did not think about God very much. He then helped to form a youth club to give his circle of friends something to do during the week. They sought out premises in which to meet and they were often offered the use of a Church hall but declined the offer. George thought that if they got involved with the Church, the Church would want more from them, “If we gave an inch, the Church would want a mile”. George made the decision that religion would have no place in the club and they continued that way for two years. That decision backfired on George later after he had become a Christian. He took Christian leaflets into the club and spread them out on a table and went to his office. Suddenly a line of members formed and came to his desk and one after another crushed the leaflets in their hands and placed them on his desk and walked away without a word. George’s gifts of leadership however had showed and at that time he was the youngest youth club leader of registered Girls and Boys Clubs in Scotland.
George Fox remembers vague feelings which contradict his early secularism. He says, “From the windows in our house we looked out over a tennis court and beyond that to a large Church. While looking out at that view I remember thinking, ‘Maybe I could be a minister’. On one occasion I mentioned this to the family to be met with laughter. I never mentioned it again but there were times when I thought as I looked at the Church, ‘If the Bible is right, why do we not see people healed today?’ The thought went as quickly as it came”. Whether George fully realised it or not, he was open to the dimension of God in a particular and special way. He says, “There were a number of occasions when I wakened hearing my name being called out repeatedly. I got out of bed and looked out of the window to see if it was somebody from the youth club. Then I would go through the house in case one of the family needed help. Always, everything was very quiet. Sometimes as I got back to bed the voice would start again but I got into bed and fell asleep. I did not dwell on what happened”. These experiences were similar to those of the young prophet Samuel whom God began calling to his service. Samuel did not know that this might be God and it was Eli who told him how to reply the next time he heard the same voice (Samuel 3 : 1 - 9).
George Fox left school at the age of fifteen and became an apprentice grocer. After some time he decided to take a job in a plastics factory, which, he says was not a very good place. On his first day he was told to wait for the department supervisor to come and show him what he would be doing. He did not make a favourable impression. Later, this supervisor admitted thinking, “What on earth have they sent me this time?”. George, however proved capable and skilful at his work and the place seemed better with this particular supervisor in charge.
Her name was Doris and George found her to be very attractive. They became closer and closer friends and eventually George asked Doris to go out with him. She agreed on the condition that he would accept a future such invitation from her. George readily agreed to this. He says, “I took her to a theatre to see ‘Swan Lake’ which we enjoyed. We were less than five minutes away from the theatre when she said, ‘Now I have kept my side of the bargain, what about you?’. I could not do anything but keep my word. ‘Right’, I said, ‘Where are we going and when?’. To my surprise she said, ‘Church tomorrow morning and you can meet me at that corner’. I had promised and I could hardly say ‘No’. What happened to my determination to have nothing to do with the Church? Next day I kept my promised and actually enjoyed my time there”.
Charlotte Baptist Church was very lively and friendly and George began to attend every Sunday. The message was getting through. He says, “After a time there I realised that Jesus Christ had died on the Cross to forgive me all the mistakes I made in my life and I accepted him as my Saviour. That night as Doris and I walked the three miles home I did not feel as if my feet touched the ground. I floated home and I felt a tremendous sense of peace”. George shared his new found faith with his family and some time later his three sisters became Christians. He thinks his mother did also. George went back to the grocery trade. He found that the shop next door was owned by Christians who also went to Charlotte Baptist Church. They became very helpful to him as did other business people over the years.
George and Doris became engaged and they later married in Charlotte Baptist Chapel on 30th July 1955. For the time being George became involved in the Edinburgh City Mission. Then a dramatic event presumed upon him. George remembers it thus. “One evening after I had escorted Doris home and public transport had ceased for the night. I was walking the three or four miles home. I stopped to see if a lady sitting by the side of the road needed help but I realised that she was the worse of alcohol. A policeman came along and suggested that as she was well known it would be best just to leave her. I arrived home, went to my bedroom, turned off the light and sat on the edge of my bed. Suddenly the whole room lit up with a very bright white light and the figure of a man with a shepherd’s crook in his hand stood at the foot of the bed. Calmly I looked at him and asked. ‘What do you want?’. He replied, ‘The Lord has need of you’, to which I replied, ‘That is all right, He can have me’. At that the room became dark again and I got into bed and had a good sleep that night”.
The following day was Thursday and George went along with Doris to the Church Prayer Meeting. He told Doris that he was going to go forward after the meeting to offer himself for full-time Christian work. Doris both agreed and approved of this. George spoke to the Reverend Sidlow Baxter whom he recognised as a really fine minister and Bible teacher. George expected to begin working with the Edinburgh City Mission. However Sidlow Baxter suggested a number of possibilities and suddenly said, “That is it, the Irish Baptist College in Dublin”. Doris encouraged George and within a few weeks he found himself on a ship from Glasgow to Dublin. During his time there, Doris and a number of Church friends supported him. Some of them suggested that George would not become an ‘ordinary pulpit minister’, though they had no idea what was intended for him. When George was half way through his studies in Dublin they came to a halt because the Baptist Union of Scotland decided not to accept him as a candidate for the Baptist ministry. George thought at the time that this was because he had not gone to the Baptist College in Glasgow. The principal of the Baptist College there was also the titular head of the Baptist Union. George was not unduly troubled by this rebuff and he had faith and confidence that God had something else for him to do. He began studies at the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow and he and Doris contemplated the possibility of becoming overseas missionaries.
George next applied for the Church of Scotland ministry. The Principal of the Bible Training Institute was an office bearer in Charlotte Baptist Church. He tried to persuade George to remain there as a student since it would allow him to go anywhere in the world and be accepted. George did not like the inference and proceeded with his application. He was accepted by the Church of Scotland and became a student at Edinburgh University and then at New College, Edinburgh, one of the Church of Scotland’s training colleges for ministry. Doris and George tried to find a spiritual home in some of the churches in their area without success. The nominal and liberal ethos of these Edinburgh parish churches did not interest this committed couple. However the nearest Church became the best option and they became members there. George recalls that the Reverend Andrew Ross was helpful to them. George was asked by the Church of Scotland to do pulpit supply in outlying areas, often at the last minute, even as late as a Saturday evening. Sometimes he had to leave home quickly with an overnight bag hastily packed to be able to conduct worship the next morning. Fellow students asked how it was that George got so many preaching invitations. He replied that he had no idea other than that he was happy to go at very short notice.
George and Doris shared an interest in the healing ministry with a group encouraged by George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community, who belonged to the Edinburgh Highland Church during the ministry of the Reverend Ian Murray. Together they formed the Edinburgh Fellowship of Healing which continues in existence. Meanwhile, Doris had qualified as an art teacher. It was at this time that George first discovered that he was to be used by God to heal. His first patient was his wife, Doris. She had gone through a serious operation and had abdominal adhesions. George says, “She was suffering severe pain and doctors said they could not help. I had always believed in the power of divine healing”. George ministered to his wife with prayer and the laying on of hands in Jesus’ name. The adhesions left and throughout Doris’s life they have never returned. George concludes, “Then I began to take a real interest in healing”.
As George reached the end of his studies he was hindered from accepting a call to a parish because he still had to pass two examinations and he required also to pass his driving test. He was asked if he would be willing to become the parish minister of Reay in Caithness. He agreed with alacrity but he prayed to God that if he was to be able to accept this call, he would need to pass the three examinations outstanding. With great faith, George and Doris packed their car for the journey north even although George had still to sit his driving test on the Friday morning. During his driving test in the busiest area of Edinburgh the contact lens in his right eye fell out. He continued to drive and perhaps somewhat miraculously passed his driving test. On returning home George received two successive telephone calls informing him that he had passed his two examinations, one of which was New Testament Greek.
And so George and Doris set out for Reay, a journey of about two hundred miles. The process of the call was concluded and George was ordained and inducted as minister. George and Doris’s daughter Ruth was born there in 1960. However the extreme dampness of the manse made it an unsuitable property for a baby to live in and George and Doris were released form the charge after only two years. The normal term for a first charge in the Church of Scotland was five years. The parting however was amicable.
There had been indications of healing ministry while George and Doris lived in Reay, three of which George recorded. He writes, “Shortly after I arrived in the village, I was asked to go to a house to pray for and baptise a young baby as she was dying. This I did but prayed for the healing of the child and she did live.
In one of the farm houses I visited there was always a strong smell of embrocation. On one visit the lady of the house was in bed and I was told that she had a very sore back and that the doctor had given her this embrocation and told her to stay in bed. I offered to pray for her as I did on a few visits but she did not seem to get any better. She always seemed to get some relief from the pain but it did not last for many days. On my next visit I asked her to get out of bed and sit on a chair which she did with her husband standing beside her. I placed my hands on her head and then my right hand moved involuntarily down her spine. After a few moments I told her that she had three vertebrae causing the pain and that she should not be in bed so much. This was contrary to her doctor’s advice. She went down to see a chiropractor in Inverness who attended her. She did not have the pain or the embrocation again.
I got a phone call from a lady who lived near Inverness asking if I could go to see her daughter who had cancer. I arranged to do so on our way to Edinburgh. When we arrived at their home we met the mother, father and their young daughter. We spent some time talking and I explained what I was about to do. After a welcome cup of tea, I suggested that the daughter and I go into another room. This gave the two of us the opportunity to talk and relax while I explained that I would lay my hands on her and pray during which time she may feel something happening but even if she felt nothing it did not matter. We got on fine and after about twenty minutes we rejoined the others again. That was in 1960 and she has been very healthy since. She and her husband have been great workers for the Church since that day and we remain great friends with both of them and her mother. They have two lovely sons about twelve and eleven years old”.
George Fox became minister of Ferryden Parish near Montrose in 1961 and served there until 1968. George pays tribute to Doris’s helpful and diverse contribution during that time. He says, “Doris was always willing to entertain, playing the organ, leading the Woman’s Guild, helping at Prayer Meetings and entertaining guests. She was always there to hold the fort when I was away on Church business. At Ferryden she helped to form a group for a Black and White Minstrel Show…we performed in many churches and eventually in Forfar Town Hall the week after Andy Stewart. The press said that we were the best entertainment group in the area”. George offers little further detail about this time of ministry. He accepted a call to become minister of Wishaw Old Parish Church and moved there in 1968. The next seven years were difficult for him. He says, “there was not the same interest in Christian Healing in Wishaw as had been in previous charges. Indeed, it was quite the opposite”. However, he regularly visited parishioners who were patients at Law Hospital and he says, “While there, the doctors on being informed by the nurse of my presence, would just pass by to leave me alone with the patient”. This was clearly a reversal of the usual protocol. It suggested some implicit recognition that George Fox was more than just a visiting parish minister. In a mastery of understatement, George records, “Things became a little difficult at the Church and Doris and I became unhappy with the situation”.
I myself, quite independently of George Fox, received some indication of the difficulties under which he was working at that time. Years later I met and spoke to a certain man at a Church function. I asked him which Church he belonged to. He told me that it was Wishaw Old Parish Church. I said, “You must have known George Fox”. “Oh aye”, he replied, “A queer fish”. “George Fox is not a queer fish”, I said, “He has a wonderful healing ministry”. “That’s right”, this man agreed, “He came to my home and ministered to my wife who was unwell and she got better”. Such gratitude! Having ministered in the Wishaw area myself, I can say that there was a residual harshness towards ministers among some. There was certainly a lack of spiritual openness and sympathy for anything out of the ordinary expectation of parish ministry. There was even a kind of enmity and brutality expressed by some elders and members towards Christian ministers. Why such people belong to churches is difficult to understand. But they are present everywhere and constitute the nominalism which characterises so many congregations not just in Scotland but throughout the Christian world.
As difficulties continued and things were coming to a head, George remembers, “During a Bible Study period, Doris picked up her Bible and it fell open at the words, ‘Get up and go from this place, it will destroy you’”. This is actually a quotation from Micah 2: 10 which in the King James Authorised Bible reads thus, “Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction”. Being obedient to the Word, George scrutinised the church vacancy advertisements in The Scotsman newspaper the following day. However, within the print the words ‘Stay where you are’ impressed themselves on his mind and so he remained where he was for another year. He then took his doctor’s advice, “Go from here George or it will destroy you”. Seeing an advertisement for the vacant charge of Coalsnaughton and Tillicultry West, George applied and was called there as minister in 1975. This was to prove a significant move in the development of his healing ministry.
George was asked to preach on a Sunday morning specifically on the healing ministry. He had thought to speak more informally on the subject at a Woman’s Guild two weeks hence. Another minister, the Reverend Ian Cowie of Tullibody Parish Church some three miles away, had formed a small group to pray for people in the parish who needed help due to illness. The day after George had spoken to the Woman’s Guild a member of that group called Bet Cowan (later Bet Snaddon) asked George to speak to the group. He went along to find six people in a spare upper room of Bet’s own home. That was the beginning of the formation of the Divine Healing Fellowship Scotland. In time Doris acted as secretary and also provided the music for the healing services.
Services began every Sunday afternoon but soon afterwards a Tuesday evening service began. George says, “People were coming from far and near by bus, car, taxi, ambulance and bicycle. The Church could not accommodate the numbers turning up and many had to wait outside until others were leaving. During this time we were also visiting other Churches and ministering to sick people at home. Our travels took us all over Scotland as far as the Shetland Islands and to the north of England. I was also speaking at Church conferences and to individual groups within Churches. This involved many subjects as well as Christian healing. We developed the Divine Healing Fellowship and it be came a charitable organisation in 1972”. George and Doris enjoyed a happy and fulfilling time of ministry at Coalsnaughton and Tillicultry until 1983. They then felt led to leave parish ministry in order to undertake full time healing ministry based initially at a rented property called Rose Cottage in Gargunnock where they lived for two years. In 1985 George and Doris bought an old farm house near Falkirk to set up a centre for healing ministry. However, this did not work out due to lack of support and they began to look for somewhere else.
Braehead House Christian Healing Centre
George and Doris lived in Avonbridge briefly. There they were visited by Sir Hugh Fraser who asked to see their plans to set up a Christian Healing Centre. George records, “Sir Hugh was a very nice gentleman who put you at ease and made you feel relaxed. He showed great interest in our intentions and promised his financial help”.
George and Doris Fox never journeyed untrammelled throughout this healing ministry. They encountered strange happenings, odd coincidences, frustration, obstacles, disappointments and outright opposition accompanying glorious healings and blessings. The proper context to understand this can be found in the writing of St Paul in the New Testament. People especially used by God are marked men and women. They are constantly and consistently tested by events. Bringing healing to human bodies by divine power opens those concerned out to all sorts of influences, energies and powers. There is an extraordinary vulnerability associated with being a channel of divine healing. So affirms St Paul, writing in Ephesians 6:10-20. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak”.
In our cynical, secular, smart, materialistic and science dominated age, the idea of a parallel spiritual world close at hand may not have much credibility (though theoretical physicists posit the idea of possible parallel universes of other forms). The consequences of acknowledging this would be very great. Christian healing takes place in the wider context of God‘s greater existence. Christian healing demands awareness, commitment and dedication far in excess of the skills and gifts required for ordinary parish ministry. Christian healing requires a willingness to serve and to bear and share mentally, emotionally and even physically the burdens of others, many of them seriously ill and incapacitated. There is also a curious phenomenon. That when healing happens, many take it for granted. Even this is Biblical. Out of ten lepers healed by Jesus, only one returned to say ‘Thank you’ to Him. “Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17: 17 - 19). Touchingly, in the early years of George’s ministry, he received donations of as little as £5 and £2. Certainly, in some cases that was perhaps all that could be afforded. But in many other incidences, George and Doris were patronised by the lack of generosity in return for all their effective kindness in ministry.
George and Doris moved from Avonbridge into a vacant manse near Falkirk while workers were still doing repairs to the house and garden. George remembers, “One of the first things we noticed was that although many trees surrounded the house there were no signs or sounds of any birds. We had to clean the house and had a group of helpers to get things in order to suit us. We were not quite prepared for what we were about to discover in some parts of the house. On the second floor where the bedrooms were there was a room with a lock on the outside and when we entered the room one of our friends said to Doris, ‘This is a nice room for you Doris’. By this time Doris had detected something not right and replied, ‘No way, this room will remain locked on the outside’. Other rooms appeared to be all right but there was worse to come. There was another door which opened to a stairway which led up to two attic rooms. Not one of the group would go beyond the door. When I went up to see the rooms I was horrified at what I discovered. In one room the window had been covered by pieces of coloured paper to give the appearance of stained glass and around the walls were pictures of Seven Stations of the Cross (of the Fourteen). All were in black frames and very dark. In one corner there was a cross made up of two heavy pieces of wood painted black and turned upside down. In the second room there was a very large tree stump about three feet in circumference and about two feet high. There was a large tree trunk of about seven or eight feet long and two feet thick stretching from one corner with the other end resting across the stump in the centre of the room. How on earth they managed to get them up into the attic I don’t know. Apparently the previous minister had been into tree worship. The door at the bottom stayed locked except when it was necessary for me to attend to any electrical problem. There was an unpleasant presence and I had to exorcise the entire house after which we spent quite a nice time there for six months.
The one place I did not attend to was the garden. A team of about fourteen boys were working there on a government scheme. They were basically unemployable. They were often in trouble with the Police and were supervised by only one man. The boys were fooling around one day and throwing missiles at each other. A roof slate was thrown into the air and landed on my caravan making quite a hole which required a large and costly repair for which I received no recompense. Before sending the caravan for repair I had to remove all my belongings. The last object I removed was a tray of cutlery and as I walked from the caravan towards the house - a distance of only twelve feet - I suddenly found myself stretched out, three feet above and parallel to the ground before falling on my back. It was a rather strange experience”.
The next day George underwent a somewhat traumatic experience. He and Doris had gone to Alva to see another cottage which was for rent. He recalls, “I looked out of the window but all I could see was clouded ink swirling in my eyes. When we left the cottage this gradually disappeared. I did not feel threatened by it. However I telephoned a friend who was an ophthalmic surgeon the next day. He advised me to go immediately to Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow. He said that he would telephone the hospital and speak to the surgeon there. We had not to waste any time but as we were out with the Glasgow ambulance service area our daughter Ruth had to drive me there. I was to lie flat in the car while Ruth took it easy, trying to avoid as many bumps as possible. The examination showed a complete detachment of the retina in the right eye, caused by the fall at the manse. I spent some weeks in hospital during which Doris, Ruth and some friends organised the removal from the manse to the cottage. Just when I was due to get home from the hospital, the river uphill from the cottage burst its banks and flooded the ground floor of the cottage to a height of three feet deep. Ruth then telephoned the hospital and requested an extension of my stay until the cottage was fit for habitation. This meant further removal to a council house while the work was being carried out. Thereafter, the six months spent in the cottage were very happy”.
George and Doris had heard nothing further from Sir Hugh Fraser. However, suddenly one day he appeared at the cottage. He then told George that he was going to give him a loan of £100,000 to be repaid in ten years. He explained that the delay in getting back to him was caused by his investigating George to ensure that he was genuine. Sir Hugh Fraser had spoken to past Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to ministers of the Church and to anyone else who had known something about George and his healing work. George says, “I accepted this offer with alacrity even though my team members were saying that it was mad to do so as I could never repay such a large amount of money in so short a time. I replied, ‘Yes, we will, God will provide’”.
George and Doris moved to another cottage in Larbert and began looking for premises in which to establish their Christian Healing Centre. Among the brochures they received was one for Braehead House in Crossford, Lanarkshire, which they did not even consider. They then received telephone calls from two different people who suggested to George and Doris that they should look at a house in Lanarkshire which was available for purchase. This proved to be Braehead House. George says, “When we viewed the house we were most impressed by the atmosphere of the house and the grounds. We felt that God was there and that this was where he wanted us to be. We took some of the committee to view the house and its surrounding area. They were also very impressed and they agreed that Braehead House was ideal for our purpose. We told the occupier that we would be putting in an offer and she told us that it would need to be by the closing day for offers which was Wednesday coming. As this was Friday we did not have much time. I telephoned our solicitor that very day and instructed her to put our offer in. Doris and I were going off on holiday to a conference in England the following Saturday. A few days after our departure we received a telephone call from our solicitor telling us that Braehead House was ours”. Although over forty offers were received for Braehead House and although Gorge and Doris’s offer was not the highest, it was their offer which the owner accepted. This validated George’s faith that God would provide everything necessary for this healing mission.
In 1984 George, Doris and their friends began to prepare Braehead House as a healing centre. It took a year to make the necessary alterations. Twenty eight years later it is still functioning as such. It has development possibilities as a Christian retreat and activity centre. However a house of that age always requires maintenance and upgrading. Over the years, volunteers have come and gone and helped in all sorts of ways. They have always been welcome and contributed much to the work of the Centre. George’s continuing faith in God’s purposes and provision was further proved true when the loan of £100,000 was paid by the due date. The Sir Hugh Fraser Trust however offered an extension to allow a better cash flow balance for the continuing work. One note of sadness remained. Sir High Fraser did not live long enough to see the completion of the project which he so admired and helped to bring to fruition. It should be noted that George and Doris Fox surrendered their own life insurance policies and gave an interest free loan to contribute towards the purchase of Braehead House. When George Fox left the Church of Scotland he lost his expectation of a Church pension in later years. George and Doris lived on a kind of expense based income for years. Gifted in do-it-yourself skills, George Fox was handyman, plumber, electrician, joiner, gardener, window cleaner and general factotum at Braehead House throughout his time there.
Braehead House was opened on Saturday April 2 1988. This was reported by the local newspaper the Carluke Gazette on Friday April 8 1988. “The residential side of the Divine Healing Mission in Crossford was officially opened on Saturday. The Right Reverend Derek Rawcliffe, Episcoplian Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway, carried out the opening of the building which has been renovated over the last two years”. George was quoted saying, “‘Over the last two years I have been seeing people in Crossford on an appointment basis but now they can come as residents’. The residential side of the house will be able to take 12 people on a short stay - anything from one day to two weeks. George said, ‘We will take people with any problems, any illness or those who just feel they need a time to get away from everything. It will be particularly for people with illnesses such as cancer or arthritis or any problem we might be able to help them with’. Mr Fox will continue with his healing, the laying on of hands, and there will be other people employed for counselling, meditation and relaxation. When Mr Fox left his parish there was no place for a healing ministry in the Church, but since then the General Assembly has accepted it and other ministers have revealed that they too are involved in healing. Mr Fox has always believed that healing should be taking place within the Church and after he be came a Christian and was ordained as a minister, he be came involved in it”.
Admission must be made that George Fox’s vision and hope for the residential dimension of the healing ministry at Braehead House was never fulfilled. There were a number of reasons for this. One was George’s ‘live by faith’ lifestyle and practice. The running of a residential house for visitors is no mean task in itself. The organisational and managerial necessities of such a commitment required staff. There was insufficient funding for this. For a time George and Doris tried to do all this themselves as well as continuing their full-time healing ministry, travelling to hold services in Churches throughout Scotland and speaking at meetings and conferences. Another reason why the residential ministry did not develop was the attitude of people who came to stay. George and Doris were surprised to find that residents were as demanding of them as they would be in any hotel. They had their likes and dislikes and expected these to be catered for. Some did not expect to have to pay much or anything towards the costs of their keep. Naïve indeed, open-heartedly Christian for sure, George and Doris found themselves being taken for granted and even exploited by people who did not return faith based financial support for the faith-based hospitality that they received. Cooking meals and cleaning up after sometimes ungrateful guests became a difficulty for Doris in particular. There was no-one to market and manage the residential side of Braehead House and so it did not become what George Fox had intended it to be.
Chapter Five - Healings, Partial Healings and Strange Goings On
Over the years, George and Doris Fox and their team of helpers have ministered to many. But not everyone was healed. Some were of course and miraculously too. The symptoms of others were ameliorated. And even where no apparent improvement was obvious after ministry, there were indications of blessings of mind and soul, if not of body. George Fox was never discouraged by this. He was aware of divine healing being present as he ministered. Since it was not George Fox himself who was doing the healing, he was able to leave people and their illnesses in God’s hands and so continue in faithful ministry. A doctor who was a specialist in multiple sclerosis asked to meet George Fox. George says, “As we talked for a time he said to me that he could tell which of his patients had been to see me for help because they were improving or not any worse. I thanked him for his time and encouragement”. George writes, “Of course we are always looking for a complete recovery from any illness or trouble and we cannot tell exactly why it does not always happen. Sometimes it is a lack of trust or disbelief that God is willing. The Bible tells us that if we really believe that Jesus died on the cross to forgive us our sins, he will make us whole. Why should he heal us if we really do not believe in him”.
Even so, there is a double paradox. George Fox himself has suffered many illnesses throughout his life while being a minister of Christian healing. He has undergone frequent and sometime dangerous surgery for eyesight issues, back problems and aneurisms to name a few conditions. He was recently involved in a serious car accident through no fault of his own or that of Moira, his driver. George was required to remain in a cast in the Southern General Hospital for months of slow rehabilitation. Doris struggled with failing eyesight in later years and coupled with times of severe depression, suffered a great deal, seemingly unjustly, given her great faith and generous self-giving in partnership with George in the healing ministry over the years. Their marriage was also put under strain at times by this particular ministry. People can be very demanding, sometimes unreasonably so.
George says that it is not all glamour and wonder. “In my experience you should not be conscious of what you are doing but what the Lord Jesus is doing. You should always be ready for the unexpected to happen. I was praying for a man one day in our home when suddenly he became very sick all over himself and me. I had to give him clothes to go home after we had both got cleaned up. Another day Bet and I were attending to a woman when she lost control of her bowels. Bet took her upstairs to the toilet, leaving a trail behind her which Bet cleaned up willingly. Quite a number of people lost control of their bladders while receiving healing ministry and I had to give them clothes to go home with. There was never any embarrassment because Bet and I reassured them that everything was all right. You always had to reassure people. The Lord moved us on from there and these things have not happened for many years now”.
George pays tribute to Bet, a former nurse. “Bet had a wonderful way with people and was therefore a tremendous help with her understanding of people with difficulties. One day a young man in a wheelchair was brought to Rose Cottage by his parents. As I took him through to a room his mother said that she and her husband would need to be there as I would not be able to make out what he was saying. Bet took the lad into the room in his chair as far as she could and I was talking to the parents to explain what we would do. Suddenly the mother interrupted me by saying to her husband, ‘Look, these two are having a conversation’. The young man had a constant run of saliva down his face and Bet was cleaning this and they were chatting to each other. I said to them that that was typical of Bet. She could do many things that I just could not do. She was a Godsend for the Fellowship”.
God’s active providence gave necessary help and company for George and Doris Fox over the years. When Bet had to leave the Fellowship another former nurse was ready to take over. Moira had attended many services looking for help as she had suffered from asthma. Some time later she became part of the team. George recalls, “Moira also took over from Bet as a car driver as some of the places we went to were quite a distance away and sometimes we had to stay overnight. Moira was always ready to help in other ways such as taking Doris shopping and doing housework at Braehead House. She would spend hours gardening, washing and ironing for the Fellowship. I often compare her with Martha in the Bible (Luke 10: 38 - 42). One of her greatest qualities was that you never heard Moira criticise anybody. Moira would always point out something good about a person. Moira became the longest serving team member sharing in healing ministry at services as well as all her other good works”.
Elizabeth Swindley became the longest serving active member of the Fellowship but her role was different from those of the others. George says, “As a young girl Elizabeth came to one of our services in Falkirk. She was converted and became a confessing Christian. She faithfully attended our services although it meant journeys of over an hour each time. Elizabeth has musical gifts and she shared in the accompaniments with Doris, playing the autoharp. When Doris could not play, Elizabeth took over the keyboard and continued with that contribution for many years. When Doris was not able to any longer to act as fellowship Secretary, Elizabeth took over that task as well and also became Prayer Secretary”. As there was much correspondence over the years, this became a large responsibility. Keeping in touch with supporters was necessary as this was part of the ongoing fund-raising necessary for the work to continue. Braehead House Christian Healing centre was a charitable operation, relying solely on gifts, donations, bequests and fund-raising activities.
The healing ministry can be unpredictable. George writes, “One young woman (with multiple sclerosis) came up from London to Falkirk by train. It had been quite a traumatic experience for her as her husband carried her onto the train and made her comfortable and sent her on the journey alone. Her father met her at the station in Falkirk and brought her to the Church at Coalsnaughton, near Stirling. Bet, one of my helpers and I took her into one of our consulting rooms where we prayed for her and as we did so she fell asleep. (This happened on many occasions to people with all sorts of problems). We made her comfortable while we went to attend to someone else. Some time later she got up and walked out of the Church and into her father’s car. They were so excited as they walked away. After she arrived in London she got out of the train and walked down the platform in Kings Cross Station to meet her husband. It was either the next morning or the morning after her husband phoned me to say that she had been doing very well but had gone blind. We talked a little and then I told him not to worry and that she would be blind for three days and then she would be fine. I sat at the phone for a few minutes and thought, ‘How could I say that?’ I had never experienced anything like that before. Where did these words come from? I decided that they could only have come from God. Sure enough, I got a phone call from a very happy and joyful husband to say that everything was fine now. His wife could see and walk and they thanked me for the help they had got”.
Healing ministry is sometimes a battle between good and evil, spiritual darkness and spiritual light, alternative views of God and the world and Christianity’s saving grace in Jesus Christ. Although society is in many ways secular, there is a residual religiosity which finds many expressions as people seek some answers to life’s perennial large questions. There is an increasing interest in spiritualism, for example. Astrology and all sorts of derivatives of divination and fortune-telling proliferate. There is money to be made in these things. The Bible’s teaching is to warn against any such involvements. “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there…do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as medium or spiritualist or one who consults the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:9 -11). The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John contain records of Jesus’ confrontation with conditions of seriously disturbed people. The language of ‘demon-possession’ is suspected and discredited in today’s world of psychoanalytical theory, psychological medicine and neuropathology studies. However, there is a simple basic factor and that is that the deep subconscious of the human mind is not well and certainly not fully understood as yet for all the advancements in medicine over the years. ‘Faulty brain electrical wiring’ may be the current description of mental disorder but the real need is for healing. The dampening of symptoms through powerful drugs is helpful but it is not cure. ‘Exorcism’ is a loaded word sensationalised by entertainment films and misrepresented in and by some charismatically inclined congregations. However, anyone involved in Christian healing ministry knows that there are times when this kind of involvement is thrust upon them, however much it is unwelcome also.
George Fox writes, “A friend of ours knows somebody we will call Jane who was having a number of difficulties and getting herself involved in all sorts of ideas. She had a shop in the town and her husband was a big businessman who was well known in the region. Her husband was always very busy and she was not always in the shop preferring to leave her staff to run things. This meant that she had a lot of spare time and had become bored with life. Our friend suggested that she should come and see me and arrangements were made for an appointment at the Church near Stirling. On that occasion I had two of my helpers in the room as well and we discovered that Jane was involved in automatic writing and various other activities of the occult because she was bored with life as it was with too much time on her hands. She then told us that her husband’s parents were very involved in spiritualism. I suggested that we pray for her. I then told my two helpers, Bet and Jim, not to touch either Jane or myself and to pray with their eyes open. Shortly after I began praying I began to shake violently as if I was holding a pneumatic drill. I continued to pray and after a few moments Bet took the chain which had a cross on it from around her neck and flicked it over my wrist and the vibration stopped immediately. We talked a little longer before we parted. We learned more about her life and we arranged to visit her at her home.
Later Bet and I made our way to Jane’s home, a journey of about two hours. We talked for a time and she told us that the automatic writing had stopped. We heard again about her husband’s parents’ spiritualism. Jane said that they were very fond of their grandson but did not show much affection for their granddaughter. The boy was given expensive toys but the girl was given little attention. Jane’s son, we learned, had no friends in or out of school and he was unable to keep up with the rest of his class in schoolwork. I asked to see the boy’s room which was bright and nicely furnished with two single beds. As I walked towards the window there seemed to be a barrier as I walked past the first bed and I felt a very strong smell which was terrible. I suggested to Jane that her son should sleep in the bed near the window. She agreed with this. As Bet and I moved further I felt a strong resistance. We prayed for some time before going into another room. Jane then told us that when the grandparents gave a gift to the boy, as soon as they had left, he took a hammer and smashed these toys. Before leaving we prayed with the boy that he would be set free and protected from any unclean spirit influence and that his life would become normal.
Doris and I were going to be passing through the town a few days later as we were going up north. Jane suggested that we should stop overnight with her to break the long journey and we agreed. This was to be another experience. When we arrived at Jane’s house we were made very welcome and we were shown her daughter’s room which had two single beds and looked very comfortable. We spent a pleasant time with Jane before retiring for the night. I took the bed nearest the window. It was open fairly wide. We both got off to sleep quickly. During the night I was wakened by feeling that the bed was moving. It was indeed rising up and rocking from side to side and moving nearer to the window. I simply said, ‘In the name of Jesus get out of this room and leave us alone’. The bed dropped down and a few minutes later I went back to sleep. I might add that I had got out of bed to have a look out the window but all was quiet and there was nobody there. Doris had a great gift of discernment far above my awareness, although I did have some discernment. We prayed in the room and on the landing before we left.
Jane told us that not long after we had left on our previous visit, three boys from school came to the door to ask if her son would like to come out to play. This was a great surprise as it had never happened before. The school teacher had said to Jane that she was surprised how quickly the boy was catching up with his class. Thereafter everything seemed to go well and we remained friends with Jane for years. Praise God for His love and care and such deliverance”.
George experienced similar phenomena throughout the years. He did not seek these out. He was no ghost hunter. But he was sensitive to the world around us and able to be of assistance when called upon, not in his own strength but all in the name of Jesus, the living Lord. On a caravan site in England George and Doris’s dog would not leave the caravan. They sensed a spiritual heaviness around and decided simply to leave and find another site.
George was asked to conduct exorcisms of properties from time to time, including at a Church of Scotland Nursing Home, and in a Church of Scotland Church. He was once asked to visit a house in Glasgow where strange things happening were causing alarm. He was told that the local minister had tried more than once to enter the house but had been unable to open the door. When George called, the lady opened the door for him. It transpired that people could be sitting talking when suddenly a child’s guitar on the couch would start to play. A child’s tricycle would suddenly move acres the room propelled by some unseen force. George prayed for a time and left. He never heard anything more. He says, “It is strange just how many people get help but never get back in touch. Sometimes you may hear from somebody else on some other occasion what the outcome had been. There is however, a good aspect to this apparent complacency and taking for granted of healing, deliverance and blessing. With George Fox’s ministry there is no short or long term dependence. People are actually set free from their illnesses and that must substantially be recognised.
It is the external things of Christianity that we deal with most of the time. Churches’ views on politics and governments and on great social issues are often sought and publicised in the media. Congregational life is about many things, worship, meetings, young people’s organisations, pastoral care, maintenance of buildings and money and much more. These also have external qualities to them, different from the consciousness that has accompanied such a dedicated healing ministry as that of George and Doris Fox. Tales such as those above may make little sense when publicised. Jesus Himself usually asked people not to broadcast what he had done for them. Somehow the meaning and importance is diminished in the publicity. What is interesting and perhaps frightening can very easily be made to seem banal and of little consequence. The post TS Eliot said ‘Human kind cannot bear very much reality’ (Murder in the Cathedral). The Israelites, we read, “saw God, and they ate and drank” (Exodus 24:11). People looked up at Our Lord Jesus on the Cross of Calvary without having the slightest perception of what was happening. “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who were going to destroy the temple and build it in three days come down from the cross and save yourself” (Mark 15:29 -30). Christian healing takes place in the context of the wider and greater world of God’s existence. Participating in this ministry brings people closer to God. Christianity is seen to be diminishing in western societies and the Churches are seen to be in decline. But these are external things. Healing ministry points beyond them to the loving, reviving, caring, redeeming saving reality of Jesus Christ, risen and ascended.
George Fox is sure that this ministry is not for everyone. He says, “God decides what he wants us to do and what gift he gives us. In Corinthians chapter 12 Paul lists the gifts which we receive from the Holy Spirit and he makes it perfectly clear that these gifts are spread among a number of people. He asks the question, ‘Is everyone a healer, does everyone prophesy or speak in tongues?’ He makes it clear that that is not the case”. George thinks that some people decide that they want to offer a ministry of Christian healing instead of something else that God wants them to do. “The Church”, he says, “needs people to express the full range of gifts. It may be that you are already using the gift that God gave you without recognising it and if this is the case, you should ask God to make it clear.”
George Fox says that divine healing is a wonderful gift. Accompanying this gift may be a prescient knowledge of the type of illness or problem that is being presented and its actual location in a person’s body. George has often quickly put his hands on the exact spot of pain and suffering much to the surprise of the person concerned who might ask, “How did you know that is where the problem is?” On a lighter and happier note, a young woman sought healing ministry in order to have children. After the third ministry she became pregnant. However, soon thereafter, she returned to George a very worried person. George says, “I asked what was wrong. She told me that she had a lot of pain across her abdomen and that she was worried about her pregnancy. I said to her, ‘When you are having twins, that’s all right’. Her eyes lit up and she said, ‘How do you know?’ I replied. ‘It can only be revealed to me by God’. She looked at me and said, ‘George, I am going for a scan on Wednesday’. The following Sunday she came in and her huge smile told me that I had been correct. She did indeed give birth to two lovely boys”.
George Fox continued to exercise the healing ministry until he died in 2015.
Braehead House Healing Prayers, Thoughts and Meditations
Faith came singing into my room and other guests took flight.
Grief and anxiety, fear and gloom, sped out into the night.
I wondered that such peace could be, but faith said gently,
‘Don’t you see that they can never live with me.
A Prayer for Healing
Heavenly Father help me to ask without hesitation for your help,
Knowing that You are always more ready to give than we are to ask.
A this moment help me to yield my whole being, my illness, circumstances and worry over to you. Grant me the blessing of your healing through Jesus Christ. Amen.
An Interpretation of the 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my Shepherd - A declaration of our relationship
I shall not want - Supply all our needs
He makes me to lie down - Rest for the weary
He leads me beside still waters - Refreshment and peace
He restores my soul - healing
He leads me in the paths of righteousness - Guidance
For His namesake - Purpose and meaning
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death - Testing times
I will fear no evil - Protection
For thou art with me - Faithfulness and confidence in God
Thy rod and staff they comfort me - Discipline
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies - Hope
You anoint my head with oil - Consecration
My cup over flows - Abundance and joy
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life - Blessing
And I will dwell in the house of the lord - Security
Forever - Eternity
The symptoms of stress include being bored, lethargic and restless, and having constant tiredness; having headaches, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, insomnia and excessive sweating; being easily upset; having chest pains.
Stress has become a household word. We have to acknowledge an ever increasing awareness of the pressures of life - overwork, marital problems, relationship difficulties, financial worries, all of which push up our levels of stress. The problems of daily life are often too much for some people to cope with and they gradually crack under the weight of stress. The whole concept of stress varies from one person to another. Someone’s stress is a challenge to another. We all need a certain amount to get the adrenaline flowing, to keep us on the move mentally and physically, but when the level of stress become too much for us our health suffers.
The medical profession accepts that stress is to blame, to some extent, in many of our physical illnesses, as well as upsetting our emotional and mental conditions. To relieve the level of stress would inevitably reduce the number of sufferers in stress related illnesses such as heart attacks, depression, ulcers and migraine. Stress does affect us at many levels of life - spiritually, emotionally and physically. The question we have to ask is, ‘What can we do to counteract its long term effects on our lives?’ We could seek medical help and swallow a large number of pills to keep us calm - but is that the answer? It seems that to do so is no more than covering a damp patch on a wall - we have not dealt with the cause, and, in time the dampness will come to the surface again. Doctors readily admit that many patients visiting their surgeries would be better served if they visited their minister or priest instead. Perhaps then we are saying that stress has its roots much deeper than the mental, emotional and physical level, that it is basically a spiritual problem.
As well as the causes already mentioned - pressures of life etc., guilt, resentment, aggression, deceit and worry are all elements, which lead us in a downward trend towards depression, lack of confidence in ourselves and feelings of not belonging. The whole pattern of life today deprives us of much needed periods to relax and contemplate the good things that life has to offer. We need time to search our souls and come to terms with ourselves, our relationships with others and our relationship with God. I believe that in order to overcome stress, we need a power beyond ourselves, a power that can penetrate into our innermost being. That power I believe to be God. Jesus said, ‘My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives’ (John 14:27). We can come to God and ask for help that the power of Jesus becomes a reality for us and sets us free. We can, of course, often find this difficult in our present condition of stress. There are a number things we can do to help ourselves.
Relaxation: This is something that most people find difficult at the best of times and is certainly not easy when we are so tightly strung up. We could at least try to take a few minutes each day to sit quietly and consciously to get our bodies to relax.
Counselling: Find a good Christian counsellor with whom you can talk through your problems. This is often easier to do than with someone you know. Stress is aggravated by bottling everything up inside. I would emphasise however that it should be a Christian counsellor remembering that Jesus said, ‘I do not give to you as the world gives’. Other counsellors may help to a point but they cannot reach the spiritual area of our problems.
Meditation: Once again I must emphasise that it should be Christian meditation. Here are many groups involved in meditation which can actually be quite harmful and we may end up in a worse state than before. Meditation at least to begin with is best done in groups where we can learn how to let go of ourselves and our problems. Through meditation we can get a real sense of God’s peace and feel uplifted.