Over Lent 2022, we published twice weekly blogs to raise awareness and inspire churches around Mental Health and Isolation.

We told stories from local churches and schools across the Diocese of what they are doing to tackle issues of mental health and isolation. We hosted guest blogs from a range of brilliant partner charities helping churches to reduce isolation and tackle mental health challenges in their communities.

All our blog posts are collected below.

CHURCH STORIES

BLOG: ESTATE MINISTRY AND MENTAL HEALTH

St James The Less, Pimlico (Two Cities Area)

Rev Lis Goddard shares how mental health & isolation impacts on community and worship in their estate based ministry in Pimlico, Central London

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VIDEO: TALKING ABOUT GRIEF & COVID TOGETHER

John Keble, Mill Hill (Edmonton Area)

Ayo Bankole, Churchwarden at John Keble Church talks about the change that has happened in her church as they have talked about grief, faith and Covid together, using resources from Sanctuary Mental Health UK.

VIDEO: MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING

St Marys, Stoke Newington (Stepney Area)

Rev Dilly Baker talks about their experience of Mental Health First Aid and how, reflecting on the effects of the pandemic on their community they have reshaped their church Mission Action Plan around being a place of mental wellbeing.

BLOG/ VIDEO: Joyfully Tackling Isolation through “Posh Club”

St Pauls, West Hackney (Stepney Area)

Fr Niall Weir tells the story of how the Posh Club came to his church in Hackney with a weekly burst of what he calls “heavenly mania & divine madness”. An anti-loneliness project like no other, they run a daytime nightclub with singing, dancing, & cabaret for the over 60s.

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BLOG: DISABILITY, MINISTRY & ISOLATION

John Beauchamp, the Diocesan Disability Ministry Enabler challenges us to think of the twenty per cent of us that are disabled.

He explores how having a disability mean you are much more likely to experience isolation and loneliness and how, in following the way of Jesus, we might all as the church choose to take action to challenge that.

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VIDEO: TACKLING LONELINESS THROUGH LISTENING

St Christopher’s Hanwell (Willesden Area)

Revd Suzanne Vernon-Yorke, a part time vicar in West London shares the power of simply offering a listening ear to those in our communities who are isolated, lonely or struggling with poor mental health.

“The first rule of Love is to listen.”

BLOG: Creating a school culture of “bridging the gap” on wellbeing

St Michael at Bowes School (Edmonton Area)

Debbie Butcher, Headteacher shares a few examples of how they have embedded good mental health and wellbeing in school culture, including throughout all of the changing seasons of the pandemic.

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VIDEO: SPEAR PROGRAMME supporting young people’s mental health

St Peter’s Bethnal Green (Stepney)

Emma Achurch, Spear Centre Manager in Bethnal Green, hosted by St Peters, talks about how the programme helps support young people in their mental health and wellbeing as it coaches them into work and training

VIDEO: LISTENING TO YOUNG PEOPLE IN SCHOOLS AND CHURCH

St Saviours, Sunbury (Kensington Area)

Sonia Stead, Senior Youth Pastor talks about running courses at both her church and in a local school, from Kintsugi Hope and Re-Mind, providing young people with safe spaces to learn and talk about their own mental health.

PARTNER ORGANISATION STORIES

Renew Wellbeing

Ruth Rice tells us about the work of Renew Wellbeing, supporting churches to create safe spaces where it’s OK no to be OK.

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Restored

Bekah Legg highlights the work of Restored, a charity that supports victims of domestic abuse and equips churches to become Restored Beacons - creating places of safety and welcome for survivors.

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YouthScape “Headstrong”

Dr Kate Middleton reminds us of the significant impact the pandemic has had on our young people, and a new resource “Headstrong” - an online space aimed at young people promoting positive mental wellbeing.

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Mind and Soul Foundation: I need more than ‘Wellbeing’

Rev Will Van Der Hart, founder of Mind and Soul Foundation, reminds us why it’s important to acknowledge when we are struggling - and to remember that God is with us through it.

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Sanctuary Mental Health: Supporting Positive Approaches to Mental Health

Corin Piling shows us the importance of the whole church community learning together to support Mental Health & Wellbeing, and introduces resources available to equip us to do so.

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Anna Chaplaincy

Julia Burton-Jones explains the impact of the pandemic on those living in isolation or with dementia, and introduces us to their work offering spiritual care to older people.

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