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Grief, Loss and Pain in Churches

Kevin Mayhew

Product Code: 1501273

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A handbook for understanding and advising in a Christian context
A handbook to help pastors and pastoral workers. Every day people in churches experience loss events; it may be through a bereavement but it might also be due to many other factors such as unemployment, moving house, children leaving home, divorce and even the loss of the minister when they move on. The aim of this book is to help ministers and pastoral workers to be more prepared and equipped to handle loss issues. It includes an understanding of the variety of loss events in a parish, how to get alongside the bereaved and those carrying loss issues, understanding the variety of grief reactions, preparing a policy within the church and recognising one's own losses in life. This is a practical hands-on book that all pastors need to read.

Canon Dr Bill Merrington writes from his practical experience in city, town and country churches. He has carried out extensive research on loss issues both in Britain and internationally. Bill is currently the Lead Chaplain at Bournemouth University.
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Product Code1501273
NameGrief, Loss and Pain in Churches
SupplierKevin Mayhew
AuthorBill Merrington
Short DescriptionA handbook for understanding and advising in a Christian context
Pack Size1
Size154mm x 234mm
Count424 Pages
Date Published30 Mar 2011
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Grief loss pain churches church churchs pains losses pmd12
Ambitious and wide-ranging exploration of loss issues Review by Sarah Colville, Pastoral Care Co-ordinator ( Newsletter, 2011)
Star Rating
Bill Merrington has many years experience of pastoral ministry under his belt, as well as impressive academic credentials and several other books to his name. This book is an ambitious and wide-ranging exploration of loss issues and a practical guide to better equip ministers and pastoral carers.

The book is structured in six parts, each of which is made up of short chapters. There are questions to reflect on at the end of each chapter, helpfully engaging the reader and encouraging them to develop a personal, practical response to each issue.

Part one explores the importance of grief and loss and considers the journey of grief and related theories, whilst recognising their limitations.

Part two looks at the role of faith, including healthy Christian grief and a chapter on Jesus as the “expert at work”.

The following three parts explore specific types of loss, dealing with different aspects of death ranging from stillbirth to the death of an adult child, to suicide and murder. There is also a useful chapter on how to minister in the unique situation of a disaster occurring locally. Part five looks at losses that are unrelated to death and also long term situations such as singleness and childlessness, as well as an interesting chapter on grief issues that can arise when a minister moves on.

For the church at large, the final part is possibly the most important, in trying to ensure that pastoral workers and ministers are able to carry out their work without succumbing to exhaustion. The author is clear that support and supervision structures are vital, as well as recommending that churches develop a realistic pastoral policy for handling loss both within and outside the church community.
(Posted on 10/01/2013)

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Bill Merrinton

Bill Merrington is currently the lead university chaplain at Bournemouth University and the Arts University at Bournemouth.

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