We had 105 respondents through a combination of online and paper surveys, which was a good mix of all age ranges. Some key takeaways were:
· Great range of words to describe good and bad mental wellbeing:
· Three quarters of respondents have struggled with their mental wellbeing at some point, and a third of respondents are living with someone who is or has struggled with their mental wellbeing
· Existing things highlighted as having a positive impact on wellbeing include; prayer ministry, worship, belonging to cell groups, small friendship groups, hobby groups, and connecting with the environment
· Suggestions for areas we could develop or improve on (which we will look into further as Thrive progresses) include; support groups, quiet reflective/mindfulness space, mental health awareness/education.
Currently, Thrive sees themselves as a small working party that is thinking about how we shape and promote good mental wellbeing in our church; this includes signposting to services, and utilising us as a resource to support groups. What we don’t see ourselves as, is a referral agency, or as a group dedicated to pastoral issues.
Promotion of mental wellbeing is a whole church concern and not something that is just Thrive’s responsibility, so this is something we will look to work with you on as we go into 2019. We will also continue to explore what other churches are doing in Southampton/Shirley in this area.
Jon and Hannah Finch: “We are so excited to be joining in with what God is already doing in Southampton!”
In September, Jon and Hannah Finch re-launched Saint Mary’s Church in Southampton, with a small team from Holy Trinity Brompton and other linked churches.
Saint Mary's is going to have a particular emphasis on reaching young people and those that don't know Jesus. 70% of young people in the UK now have ‘no religion’, let alone a life-changing faith.
Jon comments, “Our desire is to see this stat reversed and have young people flooding to church to find meaning and purpose.” That has certainly happened at previous HTB church plants around the country (including Bournemouth and Portsmouth).
Their vision isn’t just ‘saving souls’. “We are also here to serve the city. We have been learning as much as we can about Southampton’s needs so that we can help bring social transformation.”
The iconic Saint Mary’s building is still being renovated, to make the church space more flexible, funded in part by a grant from the C of E’s Church Commissioners.
What’s been the reaction from other church leaders? “We have felt so welcomed by many church leaders. It has been exciting to hear the vision and passion for each of those communities. Our prayer is that the Spirit of God would bring the tide in and all the boats would rise as people encounter and follow Jesus.”
Do pray for Jon, Hannah and the team as they start out on this adventure; for the existing congregation of Saint Mary’s as they respond to major changes; and for the thousands of young people and students in Southampton who don’t yet know Jesus.
In August, Josh (youthworker) took Katie and Tom (two of our teenagers) to Minnis Bay in Kent for a week’s Beach Mission. Katie picks up the story …
“When Josh first asked if I wanted to go I wasn't sure what to expect. On arrival I couldn’t have been more welcomed, the community of 70 people were lively, friendly and open, and it was clear why Josh saw these people as a family. I stayed with a lovely host family, and we were fed three meals a day to keep us energized to run the children’s holiday club. I was motivated by the ways children learnt about God in their crafts, prayer and singing. There were also social activites for us as team, such as skating and inflatables.
“In the evening, there was a team time of testimony and worship that showed me how connected and supportive a community could be. I was sad to leave after only one week. This experience was tiring but one I won’t forget and I hope to see all these amazing people again next year.”
And Josh’s view? “Throughout the week both Katie and Tom grew as they tried their hand at leading story time, games, prayer activities, action songs and worship for around 90 five to seven year olds, some of which pushed them out of their comfort zone! It would be great if they are able to bring some of what they did back here to Shirley – and it would be amazing to take more of our young people along next year to grow as they serve God and the children of Minnis Bay.”
Do chat to Tom, Katie or Josh if you want to hear more about it!
From 10th - 20th May, churches around the world will be joining in a special season of prayer. When we pray "Thy Kingdom Come" we're praying for God's rule and reign to break out in the lives of our friends, communities, workplaces and families.
As we've just settled on our mission priorities for the coming years, we're going to use this season to pray especially into those areas, asking God to use us to make a difference in his world.
Come along to as many or as few of the sessions as you're able to. And if you're not able to, do join in from home!
And remember, fasting often goes with prayer. (We had a really helpful sermon about it a few months ago.) So why not miss a meal a day that week, or miss all your means one day that week - as a sign of your commitment to God about our mission priorities.
There are some really encouraging videos and useful resources on the Thy Kingdom Come website - do have a look - and pray!
After the great success of last year, the Generation Y Cell group are hosting another charity quiz on Friday 8th June 2018 at St. James’ by the Park! Always a great laugh and there will be lots of fun ways to give generously. We have prayerfully chosen to support a local and an international charity this year. After the fraudulent act on Southampton City Mission in 2017, we will be raising funds for the Basics Bank and also for the Barbara Project as part of our ongoing mission to support Enable Busoga in Uganda.
We are inviting guest speakers from both organisations to speak on the evening to explain more about these fantastic causes. As well as the quiz, we will be holding a raffle, cake stall, drinks and snacks & a well stocked bar in turn for your donations! We welcome you from 7:30pm for an 8pm start. Maximum 8 people per team.
Please do come and support us for what will be a fun evening!
Entry is £5pp to be given at the door.