The Bishop of Guildford’s Communities fund has made its first grants to parish outreach projects. Among them is a £500 grant to support the costs of running Mindfulness sessions at the Wellspring Community in Aldershot. Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation which helps people pay more attention to the present moment – ones thoughts, feelings and the world around, which can help improve mental wellbeing.
The Revd Jackie Maw of Wellspring, who leads the drop ins, says:
“Lifestyles today are so busy and so pressured, that life can get on top of people and become very difficult. Mindfulness creates a structure and the space which gives people the time to pause and think.
“We already have about half a dozen people coming to our sessions on the first and third Thursdays of the month and numbers are growing. So the word is spreading and we are very encouraged to have been asked to run sessions for the Army Dental Service. We recently attended the Aldershot Garrison Health and Wellbeing Fair, as a result we have now been invited to run mindfulness sessions for 22 Field Hospital.”
Feedback from the drop in sessions has been really positive and comments have included:
“Thanks for the session this evening, it was really needed” and “I enjoyed the meditation, it gave me peace and quiet in my head.”
One lady read 1 Corinthians 13 mindfully and took the verse home with her. When she returned for the next session, she said how much the verse meant to her and she noticed she had been kinder to her customers since reading it.
Equally important, these Mindfulness sessions are helping Wellspring to reach out to members of the community who are interested in spiritual things, but who are likely to avoid traditional church. Local agencies are also beginning to refer clients to the drop in sessions.
The Bishop of Guildford's Communities Fund (BGCF) exists to reach out to disadvantaged and vulnerable people across the Diocese of Guildford in the name of Christ. Grants and practical support are offered to projects initiated by Church of England churches (and those in active partnership with them), to assist them to fulfill Goal 6 of our diocesan vision, Transforming Church, Transforming Lives:
'Together to increase the range, professionalism and spiritual fruitfulness of our partnerships with the local community, to help create a stronger, fairer and more sustainable society.'
Find out more about the work of the Bishop of Guildford's Communities Fund. You can also donate to the fund online.