Until fairly recently it was the practice of the Church only to anoint people who were close to death in order to strengthen them for their final journey. In recent time Christians have rediscovered James 5: 14 - 15; "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven".
The Church now recognises more fully the healing power of the sacrament of unction, in which those who are sick, or those who are praying for the sick, receive the laying on of hands and anointing with oil blessed by the Bishop. The sacrament does not come with a promise of miracle cures, but many who receive it discover new and positive ways of approaching their suffering.
The sacrament of unction is offered during the Eucharist on the third Wednesday of each month and to all those who receive communion in their own homes.