This week childhood bereavement support services across the country are marking Children’s Grief Awareness Week (18–25 November). Charities are asking the public to listen to bereaved children and young people and understand how important it is to them to receive support when they are grieving. Older people, grandparents and friends have an important role to play in this area.
BRF has published an article – the first of two, written by Martyn Payne and Joanna Collicutt – on the topic of acknowledging loss in church families and talking to children about death and bereavement. Their advice and guidelines for dealing with this topic sensitively and helpfully in all-age settings are full of wisdom, reflecting their combined years of experience.
A former member of the original advisory group for Anna Chaplaincy, Revd Dr Joanna Collicutt is a supernumerary fellow at Harris Manchester College, an associate priest in an Oxfordshire parish and an honorary canon of Christ Church Cathedral.
Before retiring in 2017, Martyn Payne was one of BRF’s Messy Church team. He has a background in Bible storytelling and leading all-age worship and is passionate about the blessing that comes when generations explore faith together. Martyn Payne is BRF’s volunteer prayer advocate and author of the BRF Prayer Diary.
Read their advice here.
Elsewhere, we found good advice on helping those who are bereaved in a Church Times article written by Martyn Percy. He is reviewing a book just published by the author of Purple Hibiscus and Half a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, called Notes on Grief, (Fourth Estate, 2021).
Read the full piece here. Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy has been dean of Christ Church, Oxford since 2014 (at whose invitation Anna Chaplaincy celebrated its tenth anniversary at the cathedral back in 2020).