Chester Cathedral Branch

Chester Cathedral is the mother church of the Church of England Diocese of Chester, and is located in the ancient city of Chester in the North of England. The cathedral was originally the abbey church of a Benedictine monastery and was dedicated to St Werburgh. Since 1541 it has been the seat of the Bishop of Chester and is now dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It serves as the centre of worship, administration, ceremony and music for the city and for the diocese.

The Cathedral branch of the Guild of St Raphael was started in 1988 by Canon Christopher Biddell and several of the current members have been in it since its inception. We have hosted national conferences in the past and have formed friendly links with other local branches, notably Neston and Llandudno. There are 20 members in the Cathedral branch, most of whom meet monthly at the home of the chaplain, Canon Chris Humphries. Each month a confidential prayer list is drawn up by the secretary and circulated to the members for daily prayer, but in cases of emergency the secretary can ring the members rather than wait for the next meeting. Members also take part in the services of Wholeness and Healing held on Sunday evenings, dates as advertised in the Cathedral newsletters.

Jane Jones is the Branch Secretary, and she may be contacted by email - her address is 

Chester Cathedral Branch Anniversary
article posted 4 Mar 2013
This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the lively Chester Cathedral Branch. On
Saturday 2nd March 2013
the Branch invited all Guild members, guests and interested friends to join in the celebrations. The Festival Eucharist was held in the Lady Chapel of Chester Cathedral beginning at 11.30am, and lunch followed.

For a brief account of the event, with some photographs, please click  here. 

Joint Meeting at Llandudno
15th April 2012

article posted 25 May 2012

Over the years Chester Cathedral branch has formed a happy partnership with the branch at Neston, on the Wirral. This year we have also had the pleasure of linking up with a new branch at Llandudno in North Wales who contacted me to ask if they might meet us in the cathedral one day and perhaps make the acquaintance of the Reverend Stella Jones, our member whose article appeared in the Guild News recently. A date was duly set and we all met for Eucharist and then lunch in the cathedral refectory one Friday in December.

Everyone got on very well and Stella was on great form telling her stories, so we were invited to attend a special day on 15 April, in Llandudno, which is only an hour down the coast from Chester. We were made very welcome by the branch secretary, Marian Ketteridge, and the chaplain, Rev John Nice, Rector of Holy Trinity church in Llandudno, and we were joined by members of the branch in Holyhead. Rev Nice had formed the branch there before being moved to Llandudno, where he is carrying on his healing ministry with the new branch.

The day was planned around their usual pattern of Eucharist and healing service in the morning, followed by lunch and then a talk by Stella on her experiences as a missionary in India. Stella talked at length about her journey into the Christian faith, as well as her experiences of healing and her work as a paramedic in the 1950s. She trained in the medical missionary hospital in London, where she learned how to pull teeth and deliver babies, as well as more routine nursing tasks and first aid. She described working with tribes people at the American Baptist Mission in Madhya Pradesh, where there was a separate clinic for patients with leprosy. Of course in those days there was no cure for such a terrible disease and all the missionaries could offer was care to alleviate the appalling symptoms.

Stella first worked with leprosy patients on the Nepal border as a student missionary attending the language school there. She is still fluent in Hindi and has recently been counselling a young Hindi-speaking student in Chester who came to Stella’s church seeking support. She is a shining example to those of us with our bus passes, showing that nothing learnt in the Christian journey is ever wasted. I hope I am still being used in God’s service when I reach the age of 87!

We very much appreciate the warmth of the welcome we received in Llandudno, and their excellent hospitality, and look forward to a fruitful link in the future.