Monday, July 25, 2016

The Prince and the Psychiatrist: Royals ditch stiff upper lip over mental health

Prince Harry: "It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It is not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and not solving that problem."
He said the event was an opportunity to show that "unflappable" sporting personalities can suffer from mental health problems like everyone else, including members of the Royal Family.
"A lot of people think if you've got a job, if you've got financial security, if you've got a family, you've got a house, all that sort of stuff, everyone seems to think that is all you need and you are absolutely fine to deal with stuff," he said.
It's brilliant to see the new generation of royals helping to raise the profile of mental health, and tackle head on the stigma of admitting to depression and other problems.

This is a very short video, please do watch and share.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

'Evangelism Team Leader' - new post at Diocese of Bath and Wells

It wasn't so long ago that my Diocese released a course for all its churches, including a talk from a senior staff member who argued that local churches should 'forget about being missionary'. There was maybe an important point buried in there, but it was symptomatic of a wider complacency about evangelism, mission and church growth.

How things have changed - we're now recruiting for this:

This is an exciting opportunity to join the Diocese of Bath and Wells as we start to implement our new strategy which seeks to put mission and evangelism at the heart of everything that we do.

We want to appoint someone who is passionate about Evangelism who will inspire, teach, train and enable others in this ministry, working across the diocese at every level.

We are looking for someone who has:

- An understanding of evangelism and mission in an Anglican context
- Experience of developing church planting, fresh expressions or of pioneer ministry
- Ability to enthuse and inspire others
- Proven ability to develop evangelism and mission and enable numerical and spiritual growth

more details here. Great news.

Monday, July 18, 2016

"I was a stranger and you welcomed me": the Kingdom of God sighted in Stoke on Trent

Abbas Massih from Iran is dressed in a smart pinstripe shirt, a large metal cross hanging from his neck. Massih closes his eyes as Smith makes a cross with the oil of the catechumens across his head. Massih, from Tehran, has been in the UK for six months. He says he wanted to be a Christian for a number of years and had only been a Muslim because he was born into the Islamic faith. He talks of secret Bible study meetings at his home and his pregnant wife being beaten and losing her baby after authorities in the hardline Muslim country became aware of his Christian leanings.
Speaking in Farsi via an interpreter, Massih, who is now estranged from his family due to his conversion, becomes very animated when discussing his faith. The 27-year-old, who lives in accommodation provided by the church, says: “They welcomed me with an open heart at this church. It was not so much about the material help but about the emotional help that I received and it has made me feel connected to Jesus. This religion is so much more accepting. In Christianity I feel peace.”
read the rest here, the inspiring story of one church in Stoke opening its doors to refugees. Wonderful picture of the Kingdom of God.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bible and Politics Fail



yes that makes sense, but I'm a bit lost on how the outfit works

Update (1 minute after posting), I just received booking confirmation for a day seminar on 'How to read the Bible (without switching off your brain)'. God has such a great sense of humour.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Do not be daunted.....

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Childrens mental health - 60% of referrals get no treatment

...figures, obtained under freedom of information legislation from 15 mental health trusts, showed that 61% of children and young people referred for help from CAMHS in 2015 received no treatment. A third were not even assessed for it. Only 20% of under-18s referred to Norfolk and Suffolk NHS foundation trust ended up undergoing treatment, a sharp fall from the 46% who did so in 2013. At Leeds and York Partnership NHS foundation trust it had fallen from 42% to 26% over the same period.

full article here, on the shocking state of mental health services for under-18s. The percentage of referrals getting treatment is actually declining over time, despite government promises to invest more, and put mental health on a par with physical health. 

Just imagine for a moment, 61% of children with a broken leg not getting an x ray or a cast, or 61% of children with asthma not getting an inhaler. Some of this stuff is life threatening. How bad does it have to get?

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Yeovil Churches statement: 'hear each other rather than fear each other'

A joint statement from Yeovil churches, which went out this week:

“As followers of Jesus we are committed to loving our neighbours. This is foundational to who we are called to be; a community of diverse people who reflect a God whose sacrificial love reaches out to each person, irrespective of nationality, belief, behaviour, or any of the other differences that so easily divide us. His love is unconditional, freely offered to the apparently ‘deserving’ and the allegedly ‘undeserving’. That is why grace is amazing.

Whatever the politics, and whichever side of the debate people are on, we encourage our whole community to seek to disagree well, to be kind and to hear each other rather than fear each other. We also pray that in the local, national and international arena, wisdom, justice and mercy will be at the heart of any discussions.

Regardless of how we voted in the recent referendum, as Christians we are committed to loving those from other nations who are here. We declare emphatically that they are welcome. We are resolved to show the same compassion towards them as we seek to show towards all other members of our community. They are important in God’s eyes, so they are important to us. And we will stand alongside them, and against prejudice, discrimination and hatred.

Jesus consistently welcomed strangers and valued those whom others disliked.

He still does, and we stand with Him.”