Diocese of Newcastle

News Stories

  • Understanding the body: A Christian approach to managing anxiety

    St Luke’s Virtual Clergy Wellbeing Programme:
    Understanding the body: A Christian approach to managing anxiety

    In the second of this series of reflections on managing anxiety, Michèle Hampson shows us how we can incorporate a spiritual dimension into simple methods to still our bodies and minds.

    Most anxiety management strategies focus on our bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts and ignore the spiritual dimension. Some of the popularity of yoga stems from its holistic approach. This reflection seeks to provide a Christian equivalent in relation to anxiety management.
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  • Raging against

    After so many weeks of being constricted, and of fearing the possibility of an unseen but life- threatening virus, it is no surprise that feelings run high some days. Our internal ‘limbic’ brain systems have been functioning on high alert, and the natural human responses of fight, flight and freeze have come into play. These are instinctive and necessary for survival under threat; they are not in themselves wrong. What I have noticed is that the “fight” response appears to have risen hugely, and angry raging seems to surround us. Whether we focus that on the government, the church, the archbishops, our clergy, our lay people, our PCC, or any of the other bodies so easily criticised at this time, perhaps now is a time to rethink how we handle anger. There are societal wrongs and injustices we should find ways to protest and change where we can, but on a personal level we may need to seek to redeem our relationships and work through critical spirits. Read more

  • Creating a safe space: a Christian perspective to managing anxiety

    Michele Hampson shows how creating a safe space can help us respond to stress and anxiety, starting with an understanding of our natural biological reactions. A ‘safe space’ is one we can picture in detail and that we associate with a sense of peace. In this reflection we will first consider the rationale for this approach and then the steps involved. Read more

  • Here be dragons

    Systemic facilitator and trainer Revd Hilary Ison shares reflections on responses to trauma to help us navigate these challenging times.

    On a walk recently I was very glad of a map I had with me to help me navigate through unknown countryside. Maps are created when people have charted the terrain and noted the ways in which people have walked, to lay down the well-trodden paths.
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  • Ch ch change

    For many people the idea of change is very threatening and a source of fear, even when there may also be some excitement involved too. Both positive and negative changes can be sources of stress. Our diocese is seeing many changes right now, with the departure of a number of senior staff off to new and, hopefully, exciting things. Whether as a Bishop or Archdeacon being called to a new diocese, or as an individual Christian, we may become aware of God’s call to us to make changes in our lives, our motivations and our obedience. This is no easy task, and sometimes God may have to call persistently and loudly! Read more

  • Wellbeing and mental health during Covid-19

    Wellbeing and mental health during Covid-19
    A guide to maintaining your mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19 is available to download on the Wellbing Resources page. It includes advice on working from home, creating a routine, beating anxiety, managing stress, coping mechanisms, a wellbeing plan, and how to help and support others.

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  • I get knocked down but I get up again!

    I Get Knocked Down but I Get Up Again – CHUMBAWAMBA

    Resilient people are not superhuman! Like each one of us, they face suffering in this life in its varied forms. They are not immune to the full range of human experience or emotion. They live it, just as you and I do. The characteristic of resilience is the capacity to ‘get back up again’ or to use the scientific concept from physics: resilience is the ability of an elastic material (such as rubber or animal tissue) to absorb energy (such as from a blow) and release that energy as it springs back to its original shape. The recovery that occurs in this phenomenon can be viewed as analogous to a person's ability to bounce back after a jarring setback. am-webwww.merrister.com/dictionary/resilience
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  • I wonder if you’ve ever read a book and wished you had written it!

    This was my experience with the recent ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’ How I wish I had written this, encapsulating research, contemporary cultural analysis, wisdom from the ancients, basic common sense and profound challenge about being a follower of Jesus. Read more

  • No really, I'm fine!

    There’s a great picture on Facebook– the outline of a head, with an internal repeating ‘Help me, help me’ filling the space and an external “No really I’m fine” Read more

  • Discipline

    ‘Discipline’ can be a dirty word for many of us. It may imply wrongdoing, being in trouble, or some form of punishment. The origins of this seem to come from old French around 1300. Maybe we forget the root is that of being a learner, a follower, where discipline involves educating and training. As we enter Lent again we may be reminded of the idea of self - discipline, foregoing pleasure, and challenging ourselves. Read more

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