A Spiritual Healing Mission Remembered: James Moore Hickson's Christian Healing Mission at Palmerston North, New Zealand, 1923



    Corresponding author
    1. Manawatu Branch of the Bible College of New Zealand, and All Nations Christian College, Ware, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
    • I would like to thank Dr Peter Lineham for his supervision of the research essay in church history written to fulfil the requirements of a BD from the Melbourne College of Divinity, on which this paper is based and also Dr David Hilliard whose suggestions have been invaluable in the development of this paper.

A. Fay Farley is a teacher at the Manawatu Branch of the Bible College of New Zealand, at present studying at All Nations Christian College, Ware, UK.


The 1923 world tour by the Anglican spiritual healer James Moore Hickson finished in New Zealand. Coming at a time of heightened interest in the phenomenon of spiritual healing, Hickson attracted large crowds and intense media attention. Because so many of those who came for healing came from outside the city, the mission at All Saints' Anglican Church in the provincial city of Palmerston North involved a disproportionate effort on the part of parishioners compared with other centres. So, although the number of permanent cures was not as high as was first hoped, and the mission did not lead to increased participation in church activities, the event became a significant part of the history of All Saints'. As elsewhere, some individuals were deeply affected, many claiming to experience a new depth in their spiritual lives. These individuals, and stories of the Hickson mission, encouraged openness to spiritual healing and charismatic renewal that continues to influence this particular church to the present day.