Diocese of Newcastle

News Stories


  • Trauma-informed Ministry in a time of COVID

    Trauma-informed Ministry
    in a time of COVID

    delivered by the Tragedy and Congregations Team

    The Revd Dr Carla Grosch-Miller
    The Revd Hilary Ison
    Professor Christopher Southgate

    Since 2017 the team has delivered 20 training days in various settings for Anglican and URC groups. We have provided a range of resources as the COVID crisis has unfolded.

    We now offer half-day Zoom meetings with groups of 12 ministers. These will provide:
    • opportunities to articulate experience of the COVID crisis
    • a chance to make connections between these reactions and trauma theory
    • explorations of the dynamics of communities after a tragedy
    • biblical resources for addressing our current situation
    Read more

  • Easing out of Lockdown – what next?

    Systemic facilitator and trainer Revd Hilary Ison offers further insights gained from her work as part of the Tragedy and Congregations team. Read more

  • A message for clergy spouses in the time of Covid-19 and beyond: No time to Breathe?

    Clergy mental wellbeing has, for some time, gathered much attention but, by and large, little thought has been extended to spouses and partners. At this time of Covid-19 as many clergy have been challenged to work and go about their daily lives in an entirely different way this seems the right moment to stop and address what it is like for those who support them. So this piece is written specifically with you, the clergy spouse, in mind.
    Read more

  • A reflection on transitions

    Helen Averill, who runs the Clergy Transitions Service, reflects on change and transition in relation to the effect of the Covid pandemic and the process of adjustment and gradual moving forward.
    Read more

  • 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.
    Read more

  • 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.
    Read more

  • 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.

    Read more

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