A day in the life of one of Croydon’s best kept secrets


By - Thursday 22nd March, 2018

Healing for all, of all faiths and none


Photo author’s own.

It’s Tuesday, 12:30pm, and I’m on my way to Ruskin House, with a case full of notices, leaflets and record cards, to open up the weekly clinic of the Croydon Healing Association in the Cedar Hall. Once the pre-school staff have finished tidying up, and after the children have all been collected, I and the other members of my team set about transforming this obligingly multi-purpose space into an oasis of peace and calm. For the rest of the afternoon our visitors will enjoy some respite from life’s stresses.

Although the official starting time for the clinic is 1:15pm, I open the doors at 1pm for any early arrivals to come in and sit in the warm, taking a numbered slip (like in an old-style deli) to be seen by a healer in the order they arrived, while we finish rearranging the chairs; at this point, I put on some soothing, meditative music, to calm the vibes and ease relaxation.

By 1:15pm, there will be ‘patients’ waiting, so they are asked to bring their numbered slips to the reception table to be allocated to a healer. After their healing session – of up to 20 minutes – they are encouraged to sit quietly in our waiting area, to absorb the beneficial atmosphere a little more, before venturing out into Croydon again.

In 1984 Croydon residents Bernard and (the late) Bettine Warner founded the Croydon Healing Centre

Sometimes we have twenty to thirty visitors, other times just ten, it all depends on the weather (or whether Wimbledon is on television!) with up to five healers on duty each week. Sometimes, when a ‘patient’ visits for the first time, they might say “have you been here long? I didn’t know you existed”. Hence the title of this article.

Well, in 1984 Croydon residents Bernard and (the late) Bettine Warner founded the Croydon Healing Centre to provide healing as a community service to the general public in the Croydon area. Since then there has been a regular walk-in clinic in various venues in central Croydon each Tuesday afternoon.

Nowadays, the successor organisation, the Croydon Healing Association – with the enthusiastic support of original co-founder Bernard Warner – runs the Tuesday clinic along the same lines as previously, in Ruskin House’s Cedar Hall. We additionally give healing to animals (elsewhere!), as well as distant healing for those unable to receive contact healing – human or animal.

We are long-time members of Croydon Voluntary Action

So, yes, we certainly have ‘been here long’ – over thirty-four years!

Incidentally, we make no charges for our services although donations are gratefully accepted to help defray unavoidable expenses like hiring the Hall and day to day admin costs; we receive no payment for our work. We are long-time members of Croydon Voluntary Action, whose training courses have been much appreciated.

Just so you know, all the healers in our team are fully trained and registered with recognised healing bodies, working to a strict Code of Conduct which was agreed with the medical profession’s governing bodies; we are all covered by professional indemnity and public liability insurance.

I’ve been asked “what sort of healing do you do, how does it work, what can it help, how did you become a healer?”. There is not space in this article to go into details (I give talks to groups, which can go on for an hour and a half!) but in brief, we (healers) have been trained to become channels for healing energy, sometimes called life-force, prana, creative love. We acknowledge the source of the energy we are able to channel as being divine. This therapy has sometimes been referred to as faith healing or spiritual healing, but its benefits are open to all, regardless of their faith – or none.

We always encourage recipients to continue with their prescribed medications

As healers are only a channel, it is not for them to determine the effect of the therapy, as the energy heads straight for the little bit inside the recipient that knows where to direct it – we all have a self-healing mechanism within (minor cuts and bruises mend themselves) and having healing can help to kick-start that mechanism.

We say to those who are unsure ‘the least that can happen is nothing’ but the great majority who try it do register some benefit, and often that is far greater than they expected.

A complementary therapy, healing can work well alongside more orthodox treatments and we always encourage recipients to continue with their prescribed medications (which often become more effective when combined with healing, and the GP may be able to decrease the dose).

So what does it help? Short answer: ‘individuals’

So what does it help? Short answer: ‘individuals’, but in effect this is true; if someone comes for healing for a particular situation (physical, mental or emotional) they are treated as a whole – we are a fusion of all these aspects, each part being affected by the others, so – you could come with a particular symptom, but find an underlying problem gets sorted first.

Anyway… digression over, back to the subject… the afternoon proceeds much as it started… and at 4:15pm any remaining visitors leave, the voluntary donations are counted and checked, and the team return the room to its previous state, ready for its next occupants. Sometime after 4:30pm, I close up the hall and return home, to lock away the record cards until next week, and pay the donations into the bank.

Tonie Lambie

Tonie Lambie

Tonie Lambie MNFSH, is the Secretary of Croydon Healing Association and has been healing for over 30 years. Raised in South London, she moved to Croydon with her parents in 1969 and now lives in South Croydon with her husband. Amongst other interests and activities, she is a member of Croydon Amnesty Group, Croydon Folk Club and South Croydon Community Association. She is ironically described as “retired”.

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