Comment by Harborough churches: Our new café is a quiet shared space where it’s ok not to be ok

Every week, the Harborough churches write for the Harborough Mail. This week, it is the turn of Revd Christopher Brown, pastor of Market Harborough Baptist Church

Monday, 11th October 2021, 3:55 pm
Updated Monday, 11th October 2021, 3:56 pm
Revd Christopher Brown.

Viewpoint by Revd Christopher Brown, pastor of Market Harborough Baptist Church

Last Sunday was World Mental Health Day – an internationally recognised day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy; a day for bringing the world’s attention to mental illness and its impact on people's lives. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical, emotional and spiritual health, and over the course of our lives we can all have seasons of being mentally unwell, for a number of different reasons.

I have had my own journey with mental ill-health that has had a significant impact on my life. It has changed the way I live each day to ensure that I am as mentally healthy as I can be. This has meant stopping some things and starting others. One of the most helpful things I have come across is the Five Ways to Wellbeing – a way of living that recognises our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health are interconnected and interdependent, and to improve our overall wellbeing. These five ways are:

 Connect: connecting with others in community, talking and listening.

 Be Active: exercise, diet and nutrition, being in nature, gardening, dancing, cycling, whatever you enjoy doing.

 Give: give your time, skills and talents, you words and listening ear to others.

 Take Notice: practice mindfulness, stillness, contemplation, being aware of the things that give you joy and peace and spending time enjoying them.

 Keep Learning: embrace new experiences, take up a new skill or hobby, learn a new language or musical instrument.

I also add prayer in the Connect part, since when I connect with God and nourish my spiritual life I encounter the love, grace and peace of God in ways that really help my health and wellbeing. We can connect with God in nature, in stillness and peace, in contemplation and meditation, in activity and sport, in art and music, and in lots of other ways. God loves to connect with us and bless us with his peace and presence as we share life together.

Here at the Baptist Church we have just opened our new Renew Wellbeing café (where our New Horizons café used to be). Renew Wellbeing is a quiet shared space where it’s ok not to be ok, where all people are welcome to come and be in community with others, so that together we improve our mental health and wellbeing.

Working in partnership with our local professional mental health teams, district council and voluntary organisations, Renew Wellbeing is a safe, sustainable and simple café-style space.

Hobbies and activities are shared or co-produced, so people can bring things with them to do as well as using the crafts and activities provided.

There are opportunities for quiet prayer and peaceful stillness in our church sanctuary, and the kettle is always on. The café is open on Tuesdays 9.30am-12noon, and on Thursdays 1-4pm, and everyone is welcome. If you need somewhere to attend to your own health and wellbeing, then why not pop in, you will be warmly welcomed. To find out more visit Christopher Brown is the pastor of Market Harborough Baptist Church