No matter how hard we try it’s difficult to put ourselves in the position of someone else, yet understanding is necessary if we are to truly help someone in need, not least of all the bereaved. If we have been bereaved ourselves, or had another major loss, then that experience will be useful. We can also ask the individual concerned what they would like us to do. However, the importance of Christians equipping themselves to support the bereaved cannot be understated as every situation is different and there is a lot of misunderstanding around. There are various ways of gaining good understanding but undertaking basic training can be particularly useful.
We recommend the following training provided for churches:
Bereavement Care Awareness
A one-day course (usually Saturday) run by Care for the Family, covering issues generally faced by the bereaved and how the Church can offer support. This is useful for any Christian interested in supporting the bereaved – whether they are already engaged in bereavement support or are considering the possibility of developing it.
The day is delivered by trained volunteers and is available in most parts of the country. It is ideal for individuals to attend to gain understanding or for churches to arrange for their congregations or as a regional group of churches. Find details about Bereavement Care Awareness here.
Bereavement Care Awareness for Church Leaders
This is bereavement care awareness training especially for church leaders, run as a joint project of Care for the Family and AtaLoss.org, on one weekday a term in different parts of the country. The day aims to help church leaders understand the main issues concerning bereavement and consider their own ministry to the bereaved and that of their church.
This is a new initiative with the first one being at St Mark’s, Kennington, London, on Thursday, 1st October 2020. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bereavement Ministry Training Course
A 5 day residential (Monday – Friday) delivered annually in June at Cliff College by AtaLoss.org in Derbyshire leading to an accredited Certificate In Bereavement Ministry. This is a week focused on effective ministry for church leaders and other Christian practitioners who want to have more in-depth understanding for working with the bereaved. No prior knowledge is required so it serves as both a refresher for ministers as well as training for those who are new to, or planning on working with, the bereaved. For more information click here.
ListeningPeople – training for youth leaders
1-2 days of training delivered locally by AtaLoss.org, with resources and consultancy, for youth leaders and those working with young people, to support young people through loss. See the ListeningPeople Project page on the AtaLoss.org website.