Your church and special needs: guest post

By October 16, 2018 Blog

Today’s brilliant guest post is from Beth, who is a talented blogger and mum to two children, (a son adopted, and a 14-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome). Thank you, Beth for sharing your wisdom. … “Can I sit with my friends?” It sounds like a typical question from a teen. It was from my 14 year old daughter with Down Syndrome. I looked at the row of girls that my daughter was pointing to. I wondered, “would they welcome her joining their …Read More

Good mental health habits

By October 1, 2018 Blog

I’ve been asked to do a video on good mental health habits; and I’d love to get your wisdom. Here’s some of mine; Talk it out – don’t bottle it up. Expressing feelings can be a big struggle for lots of us with MH issues. Sometimes it’s a trigger, (you feel bad, but don’t know why; you don’t have anyone to talk to; you learned that negative emotions are ‘bad’, so you look to other ways to ‘speak’ such as …Read More

Making church autism friendly

By September 25, 2018 Blog

Provide small group settings so that people don’t feel overwhelmed – both within church services (e.g. at prayer gatherings or events) and mid-week, (home groups, socials etc). Give events as much structure as possible, (unstructured social time is especially stressful for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, (ASD)) Let people know in advance (website/service sheets/notice-board) what to expect from services (including communion), and events.  This helps to provide a sense of safety and minimises the stress of the unknown. Service leaders …Read More

Nine spiritual ‘truths’ that aren’t really

By September 18, 2018 Blog

“I’m not the person I want to be.” Yes… sometimes we live out a lie, but the truth is, we are in Christ. Right now. And forevermore.   “I’m too sinful to draw near to God.” We are sinful… but Jesus said he has only come for sinners. If you come as ‘righteous’ you’re turned away. The only people who can come are sinners!   “I’ve drifted from God.” Yes, it can feel like it, but in the deepest sense a Christian can’t drift from …Read More

10 ways to help a child fight fear

By September 10, 2018 Blog

Back to school – for some, it’s great.  But for others, (parents/carers and kids), it’s a nightmare. So what can you do to help an anxious child? Recognise that fear takes different forms.  For one child it’s an obsession with getting everything ‘right’ … for another, indifference and refusal to try. As adults, we can take a step back.  What is the child communicating with their behaviour?  Are they trying to get attention because they need reassurance?  Are they opting …Read More

To whom else would we go? Guest post

By September 4, 2018 Blog

Another stunning guest post, from Lizzie, who is training to be a curate. Thank you, my friend.   “How many kids do you have?” Until recently, I’d have thought this was a pretty easy question.  Mr 7 and Little Miss 1 have, after all, spent the day bouncing around like lunatics – you’d almost think it was nearly time for the 7 year old to go back to school – very much here, very much present. The truth is, for …Read More

The Church and Severe Mental Illness (Part 2)

By August 29, 2018 Blog

Part 2 of Sharon’s wonderful guest post. (Read part 1 here) The Church and Severe Mental Illness When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he referred to it as the ‘body of Christ’, which had ‘many parts’ (1 Corinthians 12:27,12). He emphasised that every part – or person – in the church body was important: “On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable …Read More

Guest Post: Severe Mental Illness (Part 1)

By August 28, 2018 Blog

I’m hugely grateful to Sharon Hastings for this brilliant 2-part guest post on severe mental illness. Sharon graduated as a medical doctor before becoming ill with schizoaffective disorder but has found therapy in writing and is working on a book about her experience of finding God’s peace in psychosis. She lives in Northern Ireland with her husband Rob and two golden retrievers.   In today’s post Sharon looks at severe mental illness…and in part 2, she considers how as churches, we …Read More

My Miracle, My Way

By August 22, 2018 Blog

I’ve always thought that there are two sorts of people; those who believe in miracles, and those who don’t. But reading 2 Kings 5, I’m starting to think it’s a little more complicated. Maybe there’s those who believe in their kind of miracle; and those who believe in God’s kind of miracle. As the story of Naaman shows us, there’s quite a difference. Naaman is an accomplished professional but suffering the most devastating affliction: leprosy. We get a sense of what a …Read More

What Mercy Sounds Like

By August 13, 2018 Blog

Guest post from Glen. In ‘Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense’, Francis Spufford describes the beginning of his conversion. It started with an argument with his wife. A huge, all-night argument that left them bruised and broken: “When daylight came, the whole world seemed worn out. We got up and she went to work. I went to a café… and nursed my misery along with a cappuccino.” In the cafe, Spufford surveys the scene: “I could …Read More