The day was ably hosted by Glyn Barrett from Audacious Church in Manchester, CTE Enabling Group Assemblies of God representative, Stuart Kier and Olivia Amartey of Elim, who will be the Deputy Moderator for the CTE Forum 2025. The aim of the day was to be connected with hundreds of church and ministry leaders from around the country who are seeking to practically respond to the mental health crisis.
The day included a range of presentations and discussions urging the church to play its role in helping with the tsunami of mental health problems seen across the generations. Former CTE President Pastor Agu Irukwu reminded delegates that the church has a unique role in understanding its local community and that many are already involved at the grassroots level.
A fascinating discussion with Patrick Regan from Kintsugi Hope amongst others reminded listeners that there was still much stigma attached to admitting struggles with mental health and that the church needed to be a safe, judgement-free space. Patrick shared some of his own struggles with anxiety and said the church needed to be “a gentle presence”.
CTE’s Principal Officer for Mission and Evangelism, Rev Dr Ben Aldous, said: “One helpful story I picked up came from a local minister who simply phoned up their GP surgery and asked who was in charge of social prescribing in the area. Within a few weeks, a great relationship between the local church and the social prescribing team had been built with many joining the church’s weekly activities and making new friends.”
The day took place in partnership with Waverley Abbey in Surrey who offer training in chaplaincy and counselling. A number of CTE’s Charities and Networks in Association including Cinnamon Network, Linking Lives, Transforming Lives for Good (TLG) and the Trussell Trust offered their resources in the marketplace during the afternoon.