Charity develops bereavement support resource for UK local churches

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A church-based charity – Loss and HOPE – has developed a support resource for churches to help bereaved people in their communities

The Bereavement Journey is a six-session bereavement support resource for churches, which Loss and HOPE have been promoting to churches specifically over the past two years as a UK-wide Church response to the pandemic.

So far more than 150 churches across a range of Christian traditions have taken part and research has shown around 80% of attendees have been from outside the church community, including referrals from GPs, funeral directors and others.

These statistics build on research undertaken by the Church of England Life Events Team during the pandemic which suggested that 90% of the public believe the church have a role in their bereavement care.

The Revd Canon Yvonne Tulloch, CEO of welcomed the survey’s findings saying:

“Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, and the UK Bereavement Commission’s call for more local bereavement support, this is a moment for the church to step up with renewed vigour to support those in their communities. There is huge potential here for social transformation, mental ill-health prevention and church growth all at the same time.

“The UK Bereavement Commission has confirmed that there are millions of people bereaved every year, and a large number now, following the pandemic, who will have delayed and complicated grief. Churches are well placed to offer help and it is clear they are both wanted by the public and The Bereavement Journey is being welcomed by professionals alongside the bereaved.”

Aware of the unresolved grief across the nation, the effectiveness of The Bereavement Journey and having mentioned those currently grieving in his funeral sermon for the Queen, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Patron of AtaLoss, is highlighting the charity’s work – both in national signposting and mobilising church community support – by choosing them for his Christmas charity this year.

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