Safe Haven

Monday, 1 June, 2009

Waltham Abbey is the venue for Safe Haven, a spiritual home for people who live with mental illness.

Revd Di Crook, curate at Waltham Abbey, is herself a trained counsellor. Before ordination she worked with people with mental illness for many years. Safe Haven is one of a number of activities supported by the West Essex Mind and Spirit Cluster Group. The cluster group aims to provide resources and support in the area of mental health and Safe Haven has become an important part of that.

Safe Haven is for anyone of any faith or none. It has tried to meet in a non-religious building but people prefer being at Waltham Abbey which has 'a spiritual feel'.

Meetings are simple. To begin, a meditation is read. This is followed by quiet. People indicate they are ready for communication by placing a lit candle in the middle of the group. When everyone is ready, people can share their thoughts.

Writing about Safe Haven, one member of the group made this comment:

I am sure most of us who came along as facilitators or members never expected that we would receive ourselves, far more than we were able to give. Boundaries and barriers have slipped away as we take up the opportunity for personal reflection in the presence of God and then the privilege of sharing in sometimes very intimate and personal moments as all seek to express their feelings and needs.

Not all present would recognise or even understand the movement of the Holy Spirit, but that presence is always there, encouraging, lifting up, comforting, healing and empowering.

Updates to, and learning points from, this story

Monday, 1 June, 2009

This story illustrates the principles of Loving and serving in the Guide.