At the time of writing, the UK is recovering from three major terror attacks and one of the worst fires in modern British history. There is much trauma and anxiety on our streets, and the personal and political ramifications of these days will play out for many months, if not years.
But in all these tragic events, I have been struck by the stories of heroism and community action; Ordinary people doing the extraordinary to help those caught up in terrible situations. Firefighters risking their lives, and communities gathering around to care for those in need, including many Christians and church communities.
The church has always acted to serve the community, and there is great scope for our places of worship to be great beacons of healing and health for the whole community, not only in times of particular need. In this issue, we report on a recent event: Can the Parish Care? An abridged version of Prof. Alison Milbank’s paper on the theology of a parish that cares is timely and inspiring. You will also find articles covering a range of issues, including turning green spaces into healing places of reflection, the sacramental ministry and mental health.
Over the next eighteen months, I will be working with colleagues to visit every branch of the Guild and try to hold events around the country to allow us to meet with as many members as possible. As you can imagine, it is no small undertaking, but I am convinced that by meeting our membership and hearing your stories and your views on the work of the Guild, we can build up our organisation to be a national beacon of health and healing for the church. Do drop me an email, or get in touch via the website, to begin to organise your event.
Finally, our new website is up and running. Do pop into www.gohealth.org.uk to check it out, book events and get in contact. You may want to book your free ticket for the Denis Duncan lecture taking place in Glasgow in November. And you can now book online for the Guild AGM on 16th October, and for the morning lecture and panel discussion about disability and the church.
A parish that cares
The Theology of the parish that Cares
Friendly Places: Building mental health-friendly faith communities
Gardening Against the Odds
Streams of Healing Grace
Love is always stronger than hate
Change and Development
The 25th Anniversary Year of Holy Rood House
Book Review – Talking About Dying: Help in Facing Death and Dying