The next monthly Healing Service at English Martyrs RC Church will take place 6-8pm on Saturday 28th September 2019 at 240 Alma Ave, Hornchurch RM12 6BJ.

The parish began Healing Well services in September to provide help and support for people who are stressed, feeling sad or lonely or are suffering from other psychological problems in their daily lives. The sessions are aimed at believers and non-believers alike, as part of the church’s role to provide help for everybody in need.

Parishioner Mandy Meadway, who has helped organise the project and is a volunteer with the parish discipleship group, said: “The idea of a service to facilitate the healing of emotional, psychological and spiritual wounds came about because we felt that it was very much needed in the current climate with its stress, anxiety and work pressures. The world is in pain.” She says the parish was very inspired by Pope Francis’ reference to the Church as a field hospital – and the fact that parish priest Fr Britto Belevendran is a trained psychotherapist means that the project has expertise behind it.

So far, the sessions have been hugely successful – with excellent feedback from those taking part. Last month’s theme was Befriending the Enemy Within, and focused on aspects of oneself which are more complex and difficult to own or manage; acceptance and forgiveness of others and ourselves. Said one attendee: “The Healing Service was well organised, very friendly atmosphere and the speakers were very good. I found the session very helpful.”

Another praised therapist Jocelyne Quennell, the director of the Wellbeing Faculty at the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education, for her insights in the psychological part of the evening. “I actually revealed something about myself I never knew existed. I was thinking about all the people I need to forgive to whom I didn’t hold a grudge. However, in the evening I realised the person I needed to forgive was actually me!”

The theme this month is The Prodigal Son and focuses on forgiveness and mercy – and the father who never gave up. Interested? All welcome, Catholic or not. Please let us know if you would like to come at: [email protected]

Healing Service dates for the rest of 2019: Saturday 26th October and 30th November both from 6-8pm.