77

77% of men suffer from anxiety, depression or stress at some point in their lives, Fr Chris writes, – an extremely large number, and a frightening statement . Men have to be known by their peers and by their families for their resilience to the pressures which we all have. For men to show emotion is for them to appear weak and vulnerable, and there is those much hackneyed phrases used to question the masculinity of men who do show emotion – exhortation to “man up” etc.

Our Facebook group emphasised the point this week.  Mental health issues – depression, anxiety, stress – can cause us all to stop in our tracks, and can show itself in many ways. (Changes in personality, someone’s diet, appearance, demeanour, mood and so on can indicate that someone is having problems).

As a church we can be a lifeline for someone suffering in this way.  We can facilitate the opening of church at set times where people can access a quiet space, a place to pray and be still, a place with a welcome smiling face, a place where all are welcome and can experience the unconditional acceptance that comes from God.

Routine is so important for good mental, and spiritual, health. A routine of prayer, of course, but for someone suffering with anxiety or depression it is important to know that at a specific time they can access our church.

Space, acceptance and routine can be a lifesaver.  We don’t need to have answers or expertise- that is for others -we need to provide the comfort of patience and stability, a harbour in the storm of life.

The last two years has seen us all facing exceptional challenges regardless of our gender, ethnicity etc. As a church we can offer the hand of friendship.

We all need extra help at times and here is a link to a booklet of useful contacts for our area of South Manchester published by Manchester Local Care Organisation:

About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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