I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
John 10:10 (NRSV)
Abundant life - another translation is life in all its’ fullness - physical, mental and spiritual. Wellbeing is a high priority in the Peterborough Diocese.
The Revd Canon Tim Alban Jones, heads up a Mental Health Working Group within the diocese which was formed in 2020. Within the group of clergy and lay people are members who have completed a Mental Health First Aid Course, as well as those who work professionally within the field of mental health.
Part of our purpose is to raise awareness and reduce stigma within the Diocese. Many people are still reluctant to admit to struggling with their mental health and this is especially true for Christians. The truth is that any one of us might need a little extra help and support and this is no reflection on our faith.
We have rolled out teaching to our curates and resourced our clergy with presentations to the various chapter meetings. All of our clergy have been provided with resources that they can use and links to organisations working within this field to assist them in their work and we are working on ways to expand our scope now to also equip our lay ministers and our congregations.
Our hope is that every deanery will have people within it who will continue to keep the subject of mental wellbeing high on the agenda.
A range of liturgical resources and sermon ideas were produced for Wellbeing Sunday in partnership with the national charity Action For Happiness. The Uptake was high across the diocese and so we plan for this to become an annual event.
As part of our efforts to equip the people of God we hope to offer Mental Health First Aid training via one of our members who is a qualified trainer. We will also be setting up a Fellowship of MHFA to support those who are trained.
If you would like to know more about the work of the MH Working Group please get in contact with:
The Revd Canon Tim Alban Jones, 01733 355308
Sanctuary Mental Health have developed an eight week course for churches.
The Clergy Covernant
The Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing was made an Act of Synod at the February 2020 Group of Sessions of the General Synod. The Covenant seeks to embed better pastoral care for clergy and to support them at every stage of their ministry. Further reading and information is available here.