On a windy Saturday in October, kindly supported by the Dean of the Cathedral and the Verger,
the Youth and Children's Board of the Diocese organised a first ever "Messy Harvest" Service
for children and families across the Diocese.
Exploring the theme of God's goodness to us through Harvest, children, parents and Sunday Schools
from across the Diocese enjoyed a range of interactive stations around the Cathedral exploring God's love
and His care for His world and each of us.
Stations included colouring in, painting, making Bird feeders, growing water cress and a host of other activities.
Each station was looked after by a willing volunteer or two and AYaC would wish to thank all volunteers who offered to help in any way in order to make this a great afternoon!
Before hot dogs were served, the Messy Harvest service was concluded with a short act of worship
and a very brief talk focussing on God's call to all to give our best to Christ not just at Harvest
but throughout the year. It was most encouraging to hear children and adults laugh and enjoy their time
at this first Messy Church service and it is hoped that other services will emerge in the future.
It was hugely encouraging across four Monday nights in October seeing 19 Church of Ireland
adult volunteers attend their Mental Health First Aid Certificate training delivered by the Southern Trust.
Focussing on how across our ministries and Parishes mental health first aid can practically benefit
people facing issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, stress, psychosis and a range of other matters impacting mental health and well being, the programme was ably facilitated by
Deirdre and Nuala from the Southern Trust Health promotion team. Whilst the topics under consideration
were at times complex, Deirdre and Nuala facilitated learning through group work,
personal experience and a lot of shared laughter.
To complete the programme, Archbishop Richard kindly presented the MHFA Certificates to the participants.
Please see the photograph for more evidence! It is hoped that across the Diocese further Mental Health and well being programmes will continue to develop supporting Christian ministry in a practical and tangible way.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact:
David Brown, Youth and Children's Development Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org