Interfaith: The Faith and Wellbeing Seminar held on Monday 13 November 2017

As part of this year’s Interfaith week, Holland House in partnership with the Worcestershire Interfaith Forum and the Diocese of Worcester hosted a one day Faith and Wellbeing Seminar.

Representatives of many faith traditions shared their respective faiths teachings on issues of well being including physical and mental health and how these affected individuals, families and communities. We sought to find a deeper understanding and appreciation of our different traditions approaches to this important topic.

In addition, a number of keynote speakers led focused sessions on therole and contribution of Interfaith chaplaincy within the Health Service, from both a strategic and an operational perspective. How does Interfaith chaplaincy work in practice, what are its dependencies and biggest challenges, and what benefits does Interfaith working bring to the patients and staff?

As part of the wider Interfaith week, many key figures showed their support, including the Prime Minister Theresa May, who said:

“Inter Faith Week 2017 was an inspiring effort across all neighbourhoods and faiths across the United Kingdom, in building understanding, tolerance and a sense of community. These sentiments are so important as we build a country where everyone has the chance to succeed and where no one suffers discrimination because of their background, ethnicity, religion or belief.”

This continues to form part of Holland House’s commitment to the ongoing work of creating harmony in creation between peoples of differing faiths.

Further information and resources regarding Interfaith within the UK can be found on the Interfaith Network UK website www.interfaith.org.

St Paul’s Hostel, Worcester – Tuesday 21 November 2017

On Tuesday 21 November Holland House hosted a talk by Jonathan Sutton, the CEO of St Paul’s Hostel at Tallow Hill, Worcester, who explained more fully the nature of homelessness, its causes and what the staff and volunteers at St Paul’s seek to do to assist people who find themselves in that situation.

He explained that homelessness invariably has its roots in trauma, often from recurring negative early life relationships. This has the capacity to manifest itself throughout adulthood and in the negative effects of the choices they have. He also encouraged us to revisit our preconceptions of the homeless person, to see them not as ‘homeless’ but as traumatised individuals who have not chosen that path, but through circumstances beyond their control have found themselves in that situation.

The hostel seeks to establish a place of safety, both physically and emotionally, to nurture and build appropriate relationships and to connect people to friendships, help and support to enable them to begin, and continue to, live interdependent lives.

We also listened to the story of a former homeless person who had been helped through the work of the hostel and has now become a member of staff. By using their own experiences it has enabled them to relate to those struggling to turn their lives around.

Further information on the work of St Paul’s Hostel can be found on their website at www.stpaulshostel.co.uk.