The 1953–1958 Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing and the Christian Science response
By Robin Harragin Hussey
When the leaders of the Anglican church perceived that a growing interest in spiritual healing had surfaced in post-World War II Britain, they undertook efforts to respond. “The work of God in healing is the restoration of the normal, not the creation of the abnormal,” said Anglican Bishop Bardsley of Croydon to the staff at one hospital service (medical facility). “Healing by prayer is no more abnormal than other kinds of healing, and it works according to certain clearly defined scientific laws.”1
Others in the Church of England felt differently, such as the Archbishop of York, Dr. Garbett. He is reported to have cautioned against the “sensationalist and much-advertised” healing missions held sometimes by American evangelists, but occasionally in the Church of England, and believed that these did great harm by their hysterical and emotional atmosphere.2
‘To guide the Church to clearer understanding’
Reflecting this stirring on the issue of spiritual healing, the lower house of the Convocation of Canterbury (one of the ruling bodies of the Church of England) urged the Archbishops of Canterbury and York3 to appoint a commission that would prepare a report on divine healing. In October 1953 a commission was set up with these aims:
To consider the theological, medical, psychological, and pastoral aspects of “Divine Healing” with a view to providing within two or three years a report designed to guide the Church to clearer understanding of the subject; and in particular to help the clergy in the exercise of the ministry of healing and to encourage increasing understanding and cooperation between them and the medical profession.4
British Christian Scientists were very interested in this commission. Colin Rücker Eddison was the British District Manager of the Christian Science Committee on Publication, the public affairs office of The First Church of Christ, Scientist (The Mother Church). He wrote to the department’s manager at the Boston headquarters, saying that he had received several letters from Christian Scientists offering to write to the newspapers or the Archbishop of Canterbury, to inform them of their personal healing experiences. “It is believed,” he wrote enthusiastically, “that the growth and practice of Christian Science are largely responsible for the proposal and acceptance of the Convocation of Canterbury of the resolutions referred to.”5 But he was keen to discourage individuals from writing such letters, asking them to wait while The Mother Church considered its response.
The Archbishops’ Commission committee was chaired by the Rt. Rev. Maurice Harland, Bishop of Lincoln (later Bishop of Durham). Its members consisted of 15 clergy and 12 doctors, nurses, and psychiatrists. There were only four women—two matrons of London hospitals and two doctors. Perhaps the makeup of this committee, and its widely publicised aims, should have alerted those interested in Christian healing that the Commission’s considerations were always going to be weighed in the balance with medical healing.
Rt. Rev. Maurice Harland, The New Bishop Of Lincoln. Courtesy of ANL/Shutterstock.
Generally the Anglican church viewed Christian Science ambiguously, although the value of spiritual healing was recognised. Several decades earlier the Encyclical Letter issued by the Lambeth Conference 1920, which reported on an investigation into religion and healing, stated, “There is much in Christian Science which ought to be found within the Church, which would be supplemented by truths which in Christian Science are neglected.”6 Nevertheless, a few years later William Temple, Bishop of Manchester, wrote, “There is no doubt that we have in the Church neglected the connection that does exist between faith and health, and it is largely because of that that Christian Science, for example, has been able to gain so many adherents; for the practice of Christian Science has brought incalculable benefit to many people, though some of the fundamental theories of Christian Science seem to me singularly untenable.”7
The revival of interest in divine or spiritual healing was a result of these “incalculable benefits,” and the churches were taking notice. The Presbyterian Church in Wales was already investigating it, and their report, issued in September 1953, affirmed an earlier statement that they believed that “the Ministry of Healing was an important branch of church work.”8 The September 1953 Christian Advocate, writing of a revival of interest, notes that “a most helpful literature has arisen both here and in America,” but deduces that the poor response to its call for correspondence is indicative that there is very little experience of it.9
The work begins
At the Commission’s first meeting at Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, on October 27, 1953, the members discussed the theological basis of their work, considering such questions as what constituted the will of God. There was some disagreement with a statement in an earlier leaflet issued by the interdenominational Churches’ Council of Healing, which declared that “God’s Will for man is perfect health.”10 Some members said that pain and suffering were facts of existence and part of God’s plan for man, while others argued that the work to relieve suffering would be undermined if it was not in cooperation with God’s will. But the significant part of this first meeting was devoted to organising future work. Several committees were set up to investigate different issues, including Man’s Nature and Destiny, Evidence of the New Testament, and Definitions. Arrangements for the hearing of evidence were put off to the next meeting, and in the meantime suggested reading included books by Rev. Leslie Weatherhead, Phyllis Garlick, and Rev. Harold Anson.11 12
In the meantime, British Christian Scientists were already considering what evidence they should send in to the Commission if asked. Robert E. Key, the English Editor of the Christian Science magazines, sent the Bishop of Lincoln copies of The Christian Science Journal, the Christian Science Sentinel, and The Herald of Christian Science (French edition), with the offer of a year’s gift subscription for the Commission. Both were graciously accepted.13 A letter from Eddison (the British district manager for the Christian Science Committee on Publication) to the secretary of the Commission, Rev. Eric Jay, offering information about Christian Science and authenticated accounts of Christian Science healings, was courteously received and put before the Commission for consideration.14
Evidence of healing
The first issue before the second meeting of the Commission was their letter asking for help from the British Medical Association (BMA) in investigating and reporting on instances of spiritual healing that doctors were involved in. While aware of some of the difficulties with such an undertaking—such as making clear distinctions between medical and spiritual healing—the members agreed to send the letter. They asked the BMA if they could submit evidence of “spontaneous cures of apparently incurable disorders,” and “rapid or accelerated recovery” resulting from “spiritual ministrations,” including “healing services, laying on of hands, unction [the anointing of oil], the influence of public or private prayer.” They also wanted to know if there were any harmful effects from these practices. Lastly, they asked for evidence of cooperation between doctors and clergy and how this could be encouraged and extended.15
Next on the Commission’s agenda was the issue of their own collection of evidence on divine healing—and whom they should ask in helping to obtain it. The Churches’ Council of Healing was the first to be considered. The scope widened to include the Churches’ Fellowship for Spiritual and Psychical Studies,16 and Christian Science, as well as healers such as Dorothy Kerin and Harry Edwards, both of whom had large followings.17 18 The Commission agreed to confine its enquiry to the United Kingdom and send out a questionnaire. The responses would help the Committee decide what further evidence would be needed. There would be no official contact with the Roman Catholic Church, though personal contacts were encouraged.19
Christian Scientists prepare
Will B. Davis, The Mother Church’s newly appointed Manager of the Committees on Publication, helped Eddison complete the questionnaire duly received from Lambeth Palace. The questions related, in summary, to the nature, purpose, and attribution of healing. How much, if at all, were doctors and medical diagnoses involved? What if it were dangerous not to involve medical help? What was the type and reliability of evidence and testimony provided? What about theological issues having to do with faith or the lack of it? What was the purpose of suffering? What constituted the will of God? What about demonology? Were there any types of services or missions?20
Will B. Davis, manager of Committees on Publication. B534067 F335981.
In furnishing evidence of spiritual healing, Christian Scientists often turn to the body of authenticated testimonials in their denominational periodicals. Eddison asked Davis for published testimonies which included medical diagnosis. Davis sent a list of 18 such healings from people living in the US, Canada, England, Belgium, and Germany.21 It is uncertain that Eddison submitted these to the Commission. But the most extensive of his answers in the Commission’s questionnaire was on how healings are verified in Christian Science publications. He wrote that all testimonials were voluntary, never solicited, and that three members of The Mother Church were asked to vouch for the integrity of the testifier. He explained that the healings were usually longstanding and provided ample opportunity to prove their permanence through years of active, normal life, sometimes including medical examinations by insurance companies and the armed services. He also detailed that the script of a published testimony was proofread and confirmed by the testifier and his or her verifiers several months after first submission, thereby further establishing the longevity of the healing.22
Shortly after submitting his answers, the commission invited Eddison to submit oral evidence at a conference it had arranged for July 7 and 8, 1954. The proposed list of witnesses was to include three doctors, Weatherhead and two other clergymen, Edwards, Kerin, Brother Mandus,23 and Eddison, who was also a Christian Science practitioner and teacher.24 Each would be given one hour. While discussing the details of the upcoming conference, one Commission member, Professor Gronsted, sounded a note of caution. In his opinion, “there was a wide range of unspoken disappointment on the part of many people who had got nothing from the healers,” and “many had been listed as cured and were not so.” Gronsted suggested that they should obtain evidence for this.25
Meanwhile, preparation work was going on in support of Eddison’s appearance before the Commission. Davis wrote, “We feel that this invitation offers us an especially fine opportunity to present constructive information about Christian Science to the Church of England.” Furthermore, the Christian Science Board of Directors asked that Eddison call on four Christian Scientists who had had significant healings. The suggested names were Colonel David Ogilvy, Earl of Airlie; Sir Dallas G.M. Bernard; Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt; and Admiral Sir Maurice Mansergh. Along with their records of healing through prayer, these individuals were no doubt chosen because they were establishment figures. It was suggested that they submit their testimonies and accompany Eddison at his oral presentation.26 27 In the end, he was not allowed to bring them with him, as the Commission only wanted evidence from healers on this occasion; the healed would be heard later.28
Colin Eddison’s presentation
Eddison received his full hour before the Committee. One of the Commission members, Rev. Maurice Elliott, Secretary of the Churches’ Fellowship for Spiritual and Psychical Studies, told a friend that his “appearance before the Committee was like a burst of sunshine, and even the doctors on the Commission had, I believe, to admit that Mr. Eddison was a wonderful living advertisement for Christian Science.”29
Eddison reported that there were about 20 to 25 people present at his evidence-giving. The chair was the Rev. Harland, with “about one-third clergy, including two or three bishops, one-third doctors, and one-third psychiatrists.” He wrote that he started off his presentation by stressing the religious nature of Christian Science and that “the healing of the sick is not the sole aim of the Christian Scientists, although they regard the healing of the sick as an essential part of the Christian gospel.”30 The Commission’s summary of Eddison’s evidence notes that he opened with the statement that “the whole basis of Christian Science was religious – its whole aim and object was the living of a truly Christian life as they saw it.”31
Eddison was asked about Christian Science, and to describe the work of the Christian Science practitioner. The Commission records this:
Eddison said that the practitioner did not lay his hands on the sick person: he tried to see, as clearly as he could, the true nature of God (and of man made in his image and likeness).32 Sometimes he found that this clear understanding of God was sufficient to meet the physical need of the patient. If this were not sufficient, the practitioner would proceed to argue with himself basing his argument on the premise of the infinite perfection of God. But it was not the argument but the knowledge of the truth that brought healing.33
Eddison later reported that he felt that this question was of particular interest to the members, but that he got the impression there was a tendency to try to establish the fact that Christian Science treatment was some kind of mental suggestion.34 35 He was further probed on his response to the healing of particular medical conditions and on the issue of failure in Christian Science healing. Other questions involved the Christian Science view regarding the nature of matter and evil, as well as the suffering of Jesus on the cross and whether he did or did not die.
In his report to the Committee on Publication, Eddison commented that the questions indicated several at his hearing thought recovery in Christian Science was in fact spontaneous healing. He had the impression that those with medical training were “the dominating influence in the Commission,” though he believed all also were members of the Church of England.36 Having given his evidence, Eddison handed in the testimonies of Christian Science healing from Lord Airlie and Admiral Harcourt. In due course the Commission sent him a summary of his evidence for his comments—but there is no mention of the testimonies in this or in any of the Commission records.
Members of the Commission in committee after the event made comments corroborating Eddison’s impression of how his evidence was received. Records show that Brentnall (surgeon) said the “Christian Science view (is) quite div(o)rced from any realistic attitude to daily life,” and that Lady Jefferson (doctor) commented that “to medical minds his answers on medical subjects make no sense” and “his conception of Christ’s death and Passion must be equally unacceptable theologically.” But perhaps Canon Ramsey (Philosophy and Religion professor at Oxford University) expressed a more nuanced, though still uncomprehending, view:
I think the main importance of this witness was that he exemplified the extreme case for “spiritual influence” both in fact and theory. Indeed, once the extreme case is modified and the possibility, and indeed need, of medical assistance granted, it becomes difficult to distinguish Christian Science and a more orthodox outlook, so far at any rate as the matter of “divine healing” is concerned.37
On reading Eddison’s report, DeWitt John, assistant manager of the Committee on Publication at The Mother Church, wrote to Geith Plimmer, who was by then the British District Manager:
Of course, our underlying goal is acknowledgement by the Church of England of the validity of Christian Science healing, and its essential nature as a Christian ministry. While this goal may seem far in advance of the present situation, we are confident that it will be attained, and are grateful for the alert work your office is doing in this connection.38
‘Our Plea for Justice’
Christian Scientists were aware of the clerical and medical opposition to their method of healing. Perhaps this was the reason why an editorial by Helen Wood Bauman titled “Our Plea for Justice” appeared in the Christian Science Sentinel shortly before Eddison stood before the Commission. After referring to the many accounts and authenticated records of Christian Science healing of sickness, as well as other adverse human conditions, Bauman wrote:
Are these records to be passed by lightly? Or is simple justice to impel the committees investigating spiritual healing? It is true that Christian Science sets aside the generally accepted beliefs of the world concerning the nature of life and matter. But the very fact that its fruitage has been so unmistakably good should provoke a deeper inquiry into its method. Christ Jesus himself taught (Matt. 7:20), “By their fruits ye shall know them.” His precept should set the pattern for all honest investigation.39
Besides Eddison, that day the Commission heard evidence from the Bishop of Croydon, Rev. M.M. Martin; Dr. C. Woodard Edwards; Dr. Louis Rose; Dr. Michael Ash; Mandus; Godfrey Mowatt; and Rev. J. Wilson.40
The Commission members next turned to investigating matters that included healing services and meetings between doctors and clergy; demonology; the theological and New Testament underpinnings of divine healing; and a deeper consideration of the healings of Edwards, which they sent off to the BMA for investigation.41 These considerations took three years, and it was not until mid-1958 that the final report was published.
A critical report from the British Medical Association
But, in fact, this was preempted by the BMA’s report to the Archbishops’ Commission, which came out two years earlier. Perhaps understandably, it was dismissive of all spiritual healing. Plimmer wrote to Davis, concerned that it would have a “dampening” effect on the Commission’s deliberations. Plimmer had issued a press release before the BMA report was actually published, as many newspapers had revealed its findings. He stated he was sorry that the BMA committee had not reached more favourable conclusions about spiritual healing, as there were many who had been healed this way, adding that even the healing work of Jesus and his disciples was misunderstood by the Master’s contemporaries.42
Geith Plimmer, British district manager of Committees on Publication. F336293.
When the BMA report was finally released in 1956, it was harsh.43 Not only was it found not to have thoroughly investigated Christian Science but it also listed four cases of alleged Christian Science failure, extrapolating from them that the majority of instances in which medical aid was sought too late had involved Christian Scientists. Davis wrote to Plimmer that “to make these casual allegations against Christian Science and yet ignore the immense body of evidence for spiritual healing furnished by Christian Science seems to invalidate the doctors’ whole approach.” He encouraged Plimmer to write to the Commission, without going into detail or polemic, to point this out.44 Plimmer received a gracious reply from Rev. Jay, saying that the Commission had tried to delay the publication of the BMA report but could not. However, no mention was made about the specific issue regarding the BMA’s treatment of Christian Science, which Plimmer had raised in his letter.45
The long-awaited conclusions
The Commission’s Report to the Archbishops was finally published in July 1958, under the name of The Church’s Ministry of Healing. There had been extensive discussions in the Commission about the title. The report explains that the terms faith healing, spiritual healing, and Divine healing relate to the cure of the body without medical science, adding that “the Commission must make clear that in its view the Church in its ministry to the sick is concerned with the redemption of the whole man, the cure of his bodily ailments being but one element in its ministry to him.”46
The Theological Sub Committee of the Commission raised concern that, because of its “supernatural element,” divine healing could be seen as superstition and that care needed to be taken with the Church rites of unction and laying on of hands that they were not seen as psychological or superstitious practices. “The more Christian healing is practised,” the notes stated, “the more will there have to be careful teaching about the sacraments and this is especially important in the Church of England whose worship has always been distinctively didactic.”47 Thus the ministry of healing was to be firmly embedded in the ritual and creed of the Church.
This is the basic stance of the published report. Furthermore, with chapters on “Evidence and Healing,” “Some Common Misconceptions,” “The Visitation of the Sick,” “Healing Services in the Church of England,” and “Cooperation between the clergy and the medical and nursing professions,” discussion of the Church’s ministry of healing was firmly grounded in the realm of medical science.
The chapter on “Healing in the New Testament” fully acknowledges that “our Lord’s works of healing were integral to his whole purpose, the salvation and redemption of the whole man.” But it also states that Jesus Christ’s “practice shows that he made use of ‘natural’ methods of healing; that he accepted the aid of such medical science as then existed….” The report admitted that some would be disappointed that the Commission did not attempt to assess the evidence for spiritual healing. Here it explained that this was beyond the Commission’s terms of reference and that a body with “qualifications other than those possessed by the majority of its own members would be needed to carry out any such investigation.”48 This left Christian Science and other spiritual healing practices at a distinct disadvantage—and the Report’s Appendix D, “Christian Science and Spiritualism,” was damning indeed. Some of the news stories about the report focused on this. A headline in the Daily Express declared, “The Church of England Attacks! Target: Spiritualism and Christian Science.”
The report acknowledged that the rise of healing movements “is to some extent the measure of the Church’s failure to convince the world of important Christian truths” and that “had the Church faithfully and intelligently carried out our Lord’s commission to heal, Christian Science would have had no reason for existence.” Even so, the Commission had no time for the teachings of Christian Science. Further, the report stated that the evidence for cures in Christian Science were unacceptable, as were those of all the other spiritual healers that were looked at. But, in spite of this severe criticism, the Commission did not want to completely dismiss divine healing. It looked forward to a time when “the Church again takes up with vigour its divine commission to heal the sick.”49 In roundly dismissing the current spiritual healing practices, the Commission’s work had perhaps been undermined by the BMA report. And it was certainly unfortunate that it could not find a way to assess the evidence for healing that it had received.
By the same token, the Christian Science church could have made more of an effort to speak to the members of the Commission in a language more compatible with their Anglican Christian understanding. This should have been possible, because the Christian gospel burns deep in the hearts of both Anglicans and Christian Scientists.
The Christian Science response
The Mother Church responded to the report respectfully. On issuing a press release from the Board of Directors, Davis reminded all English Committees on Publication (who distributed it to local newspapers) that “it would be well to remember that our purpose is not to criticize the Commission, the Church of England, the doctors, or those who believe in combining prayer and medicine, but to prove our Christianity by our own Christian approach.”50 The release hailed the report as a “sign of resurgent spiritual awakening,” but disagreed that spiritual means alone could not be relied on for healing. After welcoming the report’s statements about a right relationship with God being requisite for health, and that Christ’s example is authoritative in the ministry of healing, the Directors went on to say that it naturally regretted the Commission’s reluctance to acknowledge that physical healing could be brought about by spiritual means alone, because Christian Scientists had proved this “Christ-method of healing.”
Elsewhere The Christian Science Monitor’s editorial on the report drew out what was encouraging, while at the same time regretting that the Commission “did not see fit to look more closely at the vast body of evidence furnished by Christian Science over almost 90 years….” The article concluded that “despite its avoidance of this issue and its unintentional misrepresentation of a theological position that differs from its own, the commission is to be commended on taking the traditional Christian churches a step closer to a frank recognition of the possibilities of Christian healing.”51
Perhaps the last word should be given to the single member of the Commission who publicly dissociated himself from the report’s assessment of Christian Science: the aforementioned Rev. G. Maurice Elliott. In a letter to Plimmer, he wrote, “It was because the Archbishop’s Commission made no attempt to try to understand what it is you and your fellows are trying to say in your own language (and words do but half reveal and half conceal the Truth behind them) that in the name of fair play, honesty and justice I could not sign that part of the Report.”52
Robin Harragin Hussey currently works with the Christian Science Committees on Publication in the United Kingdom. She gained a Masters degree from Kings College, London, and is a Fellow of The Mary Baker Eddy Library. She recently wrote “The Faith that Motivated Nancy Astor” for the Astor100 project, run by University of Reading, UK.
For more discussion on this topic, listen to our Seekers and Scholars podcast episode “Ministries of divine healing in twentieth-century Britain.”
- “‘Future healing will be in the world of spirit’ Bishop tells doctors,” News Chronicle, 23 October 1953. The Church of England, or Anglican Church, is the state church in that country, where the concepts of church and state are linked.
- “Dr. Garbett’s Warning of Sensationalism,” The Times, 16 October 1952.
- The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are the senior clerics of the Church of England.
- “Archbishops Appoint Commission,” The Times, 21 October 1953.
- Colin Rücker Eddison to George Channing, 20 May 1952, Church Archives.
- Conference of Bishops of the Anglican Communion (London: Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, 1920), 9, Lambeth-1920-Appendix-v-47. Lambeth Palace Library.
- William Temple, Essays in Christian Politics and Kindred Subjects (London: Longman, 1927), 188–189. Temple later served as Archbishop of York (1929–1942) and Archbishop of Canterbury (1942–1944)
- Temple, Essays in Christian Politics.
- “Religion and Healing: J.L. Bradley continues the debate,” Christian Advocate, 25 September 1953, 306.
- The Churches’ Council of Healing was set up in 1944 by the Anglican and major Protestant churches in England. It owed much of its impetus to William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury.
- Records of the workings of the Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing, 1953–1958, 2–4. Lambeth Palace Library.
- Weatherhead was a Methodist liberal theologian and author of many books, including Healing Through Prayer (London: Epworth Press, 1946); Garlick was a prolific Christian writer, with titles such as The Wholeness of Man: A study in the history of healing (London: The Highway Press, 1943), and Man’s Search for Health (London: The Highway Press, 1952); Anson was an Anglican priest and author of Spiritual healing: a discussion of the religious element in physical health (London: University Press, 1923).
- Maurice Harland to Robert E. Key, 7 December 1953, Church Archives.
- Eddison to Eric Jay, 4 December 1953; Jay to Eddison, 8 December 1953, Church Archives.
- Records of the workings of the Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing, 1953–1958, 7. Lambeth Palace Library.
- Founded in 1953 by English clergy and laypersons interested in Christianity and mysticism, including what they regarded as paranormal healing and psychic phenomena.
- Records of the workings of the Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing, 1953–1958. Lambeth Palace Library.
- Kerin, an Anglo-Catholic, established a healing ministry after experiencing what was described as a miraculous recovery; Edwards was a healer with roots in Spiritualism.
- Records of the Archbishops’ Commission, 5–8. Lambeth Palace Library.
- Jay to Eddison, 11 February 1954, Church Archives.
- Will B. Davis to Eddison, 5 March 1954, Church Archives.
- Davis/Eddison, “Answers to Questions from the Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing,” 24 March 1954, 4, Church Archives.
- Beaumont “Brother” Mandus was an English exponent of New Thought.
- Practitioners devote their full time to helping others through Christian Science as explained in the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. They are experienced in the healing ministry and available to give metaphysical treatment through prayer. A Christian Science teacher is a practitioner who is authorized to teach Primary class instruction—an in-depth opportunity to learn more about Christian healing.
- Records of the Archbishops’ Commission, 9. Lambeth Palace Library.
- Davis to Eddison, 26 April 1954, Church Archives.
- After talking with these men, Eddison concluded that two of them did not have testimonies that he felt were up to the standards needed. Eddison to Davis, 4 June 1954, Church Archives.
- Jay to Eddison, 9 June 1954, Church Archives.
- Henry Maxwell recalled Maurice Elliott’s remarks in a letter to Ralph Scholfield, 19 June 1958, Church Archives.
- Eddison, “The Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing,” 30 July 1954, 1, Church Archives.
- Records of the Archbishops’ Commission, 180. Lambeth Palace Library.
- The portion in parentheses was a later addition by Eddison, when asked by the Commission to comment on the summary of his evidence.
- Records of the Archbishops’ Commission, 180. Lambeth Palace Library.
- Eddison, “The Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing,” 30 July 1954, 2, Church Archives.
- By this time Eddison was no longer the District Manager, having been replaced by Geith A. Plimmer.
- Eddison, “The Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing,” 30 July 1954, 3, Church Archives.
- Records of the Archbishops’ Commission, 179. Lambeth Palace Library.
- DeWitt John to Plimmer, 18 August 1954, Church Archives.
- Helen Wood Bauman, “Our Plea for Justice,” Christian Science Sentinel, 3 July 1954, 1155.
- Records of the Archbishops’ Commission, 10. Lambeth Palace Library.
- Records of the Archbishops’ Commission, 3, 27. Lambeth Palace Library.
- Plimmer to Davis, 24 May 1956, Church Archives.
- “Divine Healing: BMA Evidence to Archbishops’ Commission,” Supplement to the British Medical Journal, 12 May 1956, Vol. 1, No. 4975, 269–273.
- Davis to Plimmer, 29 May 1956, Church Archives.
- Jay to Plimmer, 6 June 1956, Church Archives.
- The Church’s Ministry of Healing (London: Church Information Board, 1958), 12.
- Records of the Archbishops’ Commission, 32. Lambeth Palace Library.
- The Church’s Ministry of Healing, 17, 18, 10.
- The Church’s Ministry of Healing, 80, 84.
- Davis, circular letter to “All Committees on Publication,” and news release, 12 June 1958, Church Archives.
- “The Ministry of Healing,” The Christian Science Monitor, 13 June 1958, 22.
- Elliott to Plimmer, 2 August 1958, Church Archives.