Recovery Friendly Church – supporting each other
John Myhill has been finding out about the concept of Recovery Friendly Church and what it has to offer a broken world.
I was privileged recently to spend some time at St Matthews church, Thorpe Hamlet; where the vicar, Rev Patrick Jordan, was explaining to a small group of us about Recovery Friendly Church.
This is a wonderful way of bringing your congregation into harmonious compassion for each other and for those in the surrounding community, and I would recommend your church leaders to arrange a discussion session with this healing priest.
It sometimes seems a long way from the “sure and certain hope of the Resurrection” (of the funeral service) to the lived experience of the eternal wonder of every moment; but these are just two aspects of the Hope that Christianity can offer to those undergoing distress. We are all recovering sinners, forgiven through Grace, filled with the earnest desire to support others who may be going through a hard time.
So much can be achieved when people accept their brokenness and assume others are equally broken and can thus support each other. This Recovery model wisely keeps away from finding out about diagnosis and treatment, to avoid becoming para-professionals, retaining their shared life experience to respond as friends.
Christians can achieve so much, by assuming that those around them are not mad or bad or even unpleasant, but in fact in need of faith, hope and love.
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Recovery Friendly Church is a network of Churches committed to supporting good mental health and wellbeing in our churches and communities. It works with the Recovery model and recognises the unique contribution Churches can make to supporting people in their recovery. Recovery is seen as the process that enables someone struggling with mental health issues to engage with life on their terms. It may mean learning to live with symptoms or finding ways of managing them.
For some people faith will be an important part of that Recovery. We are not professionals and cannot replace professional services, but we can offer something different. Places of friendship and support that value and empower everyone regardless of their mental health or well-being issues. For more information visit Patrick Jordan’s blog on his church website.
John Myhill is a Norwich Quaker, retired magistrate and author. His blog is at http://johnmyhill.wordpress.com/
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