Category Archives: Health and Wholeness

A warm hub in Badshot Lea

Keep warm this winter.

St George’s in Badshot Lea will be open on Monday afternoons from 7th November from 2-6pm as a Warm Hub – one of a network of Warm Hubs across Surrey. You can pop inside and get warmed up with a cup of tea or coffee, some cake, and stay a while with a book, puzzle, game or magazine.

St George’s is one of a number of Warm Hubs in Surrey supported by Surrey County Council. To see the list, visit surreycc.gov.uk/warmhubs (please note the Surrey list says The Rectory, St George’s Road. It’s in fact in the church hall – entrance next to the Working Men’s Club).

Good Mental Health

The pandemic has hit us badly in so many ways and our mental health is one of them. Brewing Friendships has been set up particularly to help people who may be feeling isolated, and tomorrow’s talk about Good Mental Health is designed to give us tools to support out mental health.

Do join us at St Mark’s at 10am for chat and refreshments followed by a talk by Tony Bennett, CRO of Woking Mind.

C’etait Fantastique – A French Holiday at St Mark’s

Wendy Edwards reports on the parish’s first Holiday-at-Home.

With restrictions eased, the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale believed that a French Song Cure in a Covid-safe environment was needed!

At St. Mark’s Church on Saturday, 7th August, 70 people braved the English weather, sporting their berets and strings of onions, to revel in a French Holiday-at-Home with company, croissants, coffee, lunch, holiday slideshow and raffle.

‘Fantastique! and ‘Incroyable!’ (incredible) were comments received afterwards. There was also musical entertainment, with many talented performers giving their skills for free, Fleet U3A Ukulele band, Cajun Boogaloo, Wendy Edwards, Olivia Jasper, Roger Sanders and Lesley Shatwell, Mary Klymenko, and the Parish Choir, all performing French songs from several eras, some in French.

A total of £553 was raised for the St. John’s Tower and Youth/Community Hub. Thanks everyone for donations of money, raffle prizes, time, skills, and energy.

One classic World War 1 song was Roses of Picardy by Haydn Wood (1882-1959). Wendy Edwards, organiser, contacted Marjorie Cullerne, Haydn Wood’s great-niece, in Toronto. Marjorie sent Wendy a 100-year-old newspaper extract about Haydn Wood performing his song to cure speech-impaired, shell-shocked soldiers after World War 1.

As we start emerging from a worldwide pandemic, singing Roses of Picardy again as a Song Cure, for our Covid 19 separation, seems most appropriate.

Space2Breathe

If you and your family need a bit of a breathing space in lockdown, we may be able to help.

St George’s Church has joined up with Hale Community Centre and Space2Grow in central Farnham and all three are opening our doors to families who need to get out of the home and into a different space.

From Monday, February 8, families will be able to book a session in any of the three and allow their children to play or do schoolwork there with support from a volunteer who can also be a listening ear for parents. They can do so by emailing space2breathefarnham@gmail.com

The scheme has been developed in response to the growing mental health pressures that families are facing during lockdown. Many parents are struggling with working from home while trying to home-school several children, look after pre-schoolers, and run their households.

“The pressure on families is immense and we know that it is having a serious effect on mental health across the ages,” said Norma Corkish, chair of trustees for Hale Community Centre.

“Parents are getting to the end of what they can manage to juggle and many children are feeling frustrated and are struggling to do all the school work which schools are legally obliged to set. As one parent said ‘I am going a bit stir crazy being at home on my own’.

“Offering safe spaces where parents can bring their children is a practical step towards helping the families. Children can have some freedom to run round and play, engage with another adult, go for a walk, get some support with home schooling or whatever will help give a period of brief respite from the stresses of the current restrictions. And the parents can have another adult to talk to.” 

The spaces will have some teaching aids such as flip charts but families will need to bring their own toys and school resources.

The scheme is offering morning and afternoon sessions and the organisers hope to be able to increase the number of them if there are enough volunteers. Volunteers are needed to spend an hour either in the morning or afternoon with a family in the spaces and be willing to go for walks with the families. The organisers would also like to hear from any students who could spare some time to be an extra pair of hands. Anyone who can help should contact Cathy Burroughs at the Hale Community Centre on 07471 180958 or halecommunitycentre@gmail.com

Children’s Mental Health Week

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and it can’t come soon enough. All around us young people are struggling – lockdown, home-schooling, missing friends and family, anxiety, exam pressure, no space of their own. Some have added pressures – they may have parents or siblings working on the frontline, they may have lost someone during the pandemic, be ill or have a friend or family member who is ill. Some are living in homes where they do not feel safe.

There are lots of resources to help, particularly on the website www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/ This year the theme is Express Yourself. Finding creative ways of expression can be a huge boost to mental health. Art, craft, music, poetry, photography and drama are great ways of expressing our feelings and can make us feel better. There are ideas on the mental health week website, and some  free virtual sessions led by experts and familiar faces across acting, art, content creation, dance and writing. 

We are running a lockdown poetry festival so why not have a go at expressing your feelings in poetry – and encourage your children to do too.

If you need further help there are people out there to offer it. Don’t struggle on your own. Childline can be a great source of support for young people – 0800 1111 – and we have a list of numbers in the poster below.

Please do feel free to contact the clergy – revd.alan@badshotleaandhale.org
revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org
01252 820537.

And in an emergency, call 999.

Community Support

The Farnham Helpline 01252 745446 is open from 10am until 4pm for anyone who needs help because of Covid – shopping, prescriptions etc.

Also, if you need pastoral support please let a member of the clergy know. Alan and Lesley can be contacted on 01252 820537 or by emailing:
revd.alan@badshotleaandhale.org or 
revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org

You can also contact the church office:
07842 761919 or admin@badshotleaandhale.org

The NHS Volunteer Responders are active and available to support with collection of shopping and other essentials in all areas. You can call them for free on 0808 196 3646.

How can you help the Foodbank? They are generally well stocked up, but are always short of certain items which they highlight on their website. They also have posters of these specific requests at food collections points: Waitrose, Nationwide, Wine rack on Ridgeway and Co-op in Rowledge. 

The Hoppa Service is still running if people are in need of transport.

Hale Community Centre is staying open for reduced hours to carry on delivering the Community Fridge & Store and the Swap Shop. They are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am-12pm.

Brightwells Community Meals are running and have the capacity to accept more clients. You can get in touch with them on communitymeals@brightwellsgostry.org.  

These community meals can support those living alone, or in residential facilities, and provide a freshly cooked hot meal.

Picture by Jonathan Sanchez on Unsplash.

Additional grief in lockdown

There is an interesting article about the additional problems of dealing with grief in lockdown on the BBC News website, and tonight (Tuesday, May 10), Rio Ferdinand talks about how he and his children have coped with the grief of losing his wife, their mother, from cancer. You can see Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad at 11.45pm on BBC1.

The increased effects of grief at this time is something that Wendy Edwards, Licensed Lay Minister in the parish, has been considering and she shares her thoughts below:

What I think may be happening for some people, maybe quite a few people, who are grieving the death of a loved one, is that extended periods spent in your own home, often with reminders of your loved one all around you and an inability to have the normal tactile comfort of cuddling or kissing your other family members due to lockdown, are increasing your sense of loss and sadness.

This makes perfect sense in psychological terms but is difficult to experience. You may like to know about this if you wonder why you are struggling more with grief, if you are  – and you may not be, we are all different.

Grief is felt not just when a loved one dies. It is also felt in all sorts of other circumstances. These are all causes for grieving in older adults just now: –

  • Loss of mobility or worsening senses of hearing, eyesight, taste etc or worsening health generally – you grieve for your mobile self or your healthy, hearing, seeing self;
  • Pain- you have lost your pain-free self and you grieve for pain-free days which you did not realise you needed to appreciate as pain -free!
  • Loss of a job or role in life, homemaker, breadwinner, carer of your loved one all cause grief, if you do not have these roles any more;
  • Separation from family members for other reasons, maybe due to distance or disputes or arguments – you have lost the happy close connection you once had with them and there is real grief to work through;
  • Ageing – none of us can stop the passage of time and we can all grieve for our seemingly lost younger selves (I think we contain all the ages we have ever been);
  • Inability in lockdown to see your friends and family, to hold or kiss them;
  • Inability to escape the confinement of your home or the confinement of your grief.

The list could go on, but I hope you see my point. If you are getting on with things and keeping busy, as many of you are, that’s great. Your grief may be held at bay for a while, but it will likely surface at unexpected moments.

Grief can be held down but, like a jack-in-the-box whose lid has been held down, it can spring up when you least expect it. It takes energy to hold grief down and when it is released (hopefully in tears but not all of us can cry) there is healing in tears.  We may feel anger or frustration, remorse, or guilt in grief too, or any human feeling really.

At these times, if you are suffering, please do not despair. We all have increased grief in the lockdown and those who have lost a loved one will be feeling it worse. It will pass in time. It can take three to five years to heal from the worst of grief over the death of a close family member and sometimes longer. Some losses are more painful for different reasons. It is no cause for shame or concern if your grief is taking longer or feels worse now.

Reach out as much as you feel comfortable to trusted friends or family and your support network. Or indeed reach out to your GP also, if you feel you need to. They are available for consultation regarding emotional, mental, or physical health matters, over the telephone or online. Or contact Alan or Lesley Crawley, join rectors of the parish, on 01252 820537 or revd.alan@badshotleaandhale.org or
revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org

With all good wishes, Wendy Edwards LLM

Tips for giving cheerfully

God loves a cheerful giver

A scriptural quote which helps me when I overwork, which I first saw on a church Gift Aid envelope, is ‘The Lord loves a cheerful giver’, but a bit more of the passage is more instructive.

2 Corinthians 9.6-7 (NIV): Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

It is easy to just think of the first sentence about bountiful sowing bringing bountiful rewards as, probably, we all want to do that, but the two sentences are juxtaposed for a reason, I believe. They are, for me, an encouragement towards generous giving but also a warning against giving compulsively or reluctantly.

When I have been over busy in my ministry, I need to ask myself – if I can discipline myself to stop long enough, even to ask! – these questions: –

Am I cheerful in my giving in ministry right now?

If the answer is ‘No’ or ‘Not Very’  or ‘I am downright grumpy about doing one more thing for my parish’, I need to look at the start of that sentence: ‘Each of you  should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion’.

Am I acting under compulsion, believing I have no choices?  I always have choices, even if it is just over my attitude.

Am I making thoughtful decisions about giving or just doing what I think I must do?

Is this giving coming from my abundantly grateful and Spirit- filled heart or is this coming from a depleted spiritual bank?

Am I doing this because I think that if I do not do it, no-one will?

Is this energy I am expending in ministry, energy which I can afford or is it draining an empty tank?

Do I have enough energy left for my nearest and dearest?

Am I reluctant to continue because I am exhausted, if I can be truly honest with myself?

The Old Testament also has something to say to me: Isaiah 30.15 (NIV):
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.”

Those of us (including me) who overwork, do identify with those last seven words ‘but you would have none of it’ when we are in full flow of overwork. Repenting our overworking ways is anathema to us at these times.

Rest seems the thing we must not take, forgetting entirely that God works mightily while we rest and that we are saved by faith and trust in God and not by works.

Quietness, whether of ourselves, bodily, mentally, spiritually, emotionally or quietness of our mobile ‘phones, laptops, computers, iPads, headphones or telephones seems an impossibility for us at times.

Trust. Aye, there’s the rub, as Shakespeare said. Can we trust anyone else to pick up jobs we have not done, to pray prayers we have forgotten to pray, to care for those we have not cared for?

Yes, we most assuredly, can. God, who will never leave us nor forsake us, will never leave nor forsake others either and can be trusted to do (or even to leave alone) all these things and more. God, through Christ Jesus, the Son, may decide: –

  • to do things differently
  • to do things at a different speed than I would have done them or
  • to not do anything at all  – I always forget that one

And maybe, just maybe, the outcome will be a teensy-weensy bit better than I could ever hope for or imagine.  Maybe then I will also get round to doing other things, which only I can do for myself, which I never have time for.  It’s not only God who loves a cheerful giver. I love myself much better when I am cheerful in my giving and my nearest and dearest like it better that way also.

 

Wendy Edwards, Licensed Lay Minister

Mental health support in the lockdown

The current lockdown has the potential to cause many of us mental health problems. If you can, try to talk to someone about it. The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 116 123. You can also visit www.samaritans.org/

The NHS has a helpful page here and there is also advice for those in need of urgent support here.

The Church of England has some useful resources here.

 

 

Picture by Dyversions from Pixabay