This time of year – the period leading up to and over Christmas – can be very hard for those who have been bereaved as celebrations bring back memories and the people can be sorely missed. Although it will be especially hard for those bereaved during the year, pain from deaths of long ago can also be triggered, especially as, after years of ‘death denial’, the subject of grief is increasingly opening up.
Bereavement is one of the hardest times of life and without support, grief can be suppressed and lead to mental ill-health and many other issues.
Through their Loss and HOPE project, Christian charity AtaLoss is training churches across the denominations to offer support to their communities with The Bereavement Journey® course.
The Bereavement Journey is a seven-session programme of films and discussion groups, supported by a manual, enabling anyone who has been bereaved, whether recently or long ago, to process their loss. Tried and tested over many years, the course has recently been updated. 4 out of 5 participants attending a course are from outside the church – many referred by GPs, social prescribers and funeral directors.
Rev Canon Yvonne Tulloch, CEO of AtaLoss and leader of The Bereavement Journey programme adds “This course is enabling Christians to reach out with love to their hurting communities. It’s humbling to see God use it so powerfully and in so many ways. It is social transformation and mission rolled into one, which is changing people’s lives and growing the Church.”
Course leaders in churches using The Bereavement Journey have also praised it:
“Participants have consistently….found this valuable and empowering, and it’s been one of our most effective ways of connecting with people outside of the church at a very deep level.” (Oakes Baptist Church, Huddersfield)
“The impact of The Bereavement Journey is tangible within the room. This is such a powerful course, and I am very pleased that I found it so that we can help support bereaved people in our town.” (St. Vincent de Paul Association, Droitwich)