Sometimes a Light Surprises

I was part-way through writing a post tonight, when a sudden fit of anxiety overtook me. So I decided to post a hymn whose lyrics are comforting, instead. The hymn is by William Cowper (1731-1800). He suffered a great deal with depression, but wrote some of the most wonderful Christian hymns. I hope you like […]

Liturgy and Mental Illness

Not all that long ago I moved from one end of the country to another and with it, moved church. I moved from a church which generally held an informal worship service to an Anglican church with a more formal style. Nevertheless my old church did, from time to time, hold a more liturgical type […]

8 Good Things To Say to a Depressed Person

I have seen lots of the sort of lists I’ve made, saying what some of the worst things we can say when someone we know is depressed, but I haven’t seen quite so many about what we can say. I wrote a piece called 8 Ways To Help When Someone is Mentally Ill, which I’d […]

4 Things Not To Say to a Depressed Christian

Following on from my last post, 10 Things Not To Say To A Depressed Person, I thought I would cover a few of the things people say to Christians in particular. One of the worst parts about suffering depression is the level of stigma surrounding it. Some of that stigma comes from the wider world, […]

10 Things NOT To Say To Someone Who Is Depressed

I have posted before about a few things that are unhelpful to say to someone who is experiencing depression (here and here) and I thought I would draw together the ten least helpful things in one post. Similar lists can be found all over the internet, of course! 1) Pull yourself together. This, and similar […]

Prayers from Time to Change

As I mentioned in another post, I recently came across some worship ideas from Time to Change (pdf). I really recommend looking through this resource as it contains prayers, readings, a suggested sermon and so on. I am being a little bit naughty here, as I’m going to reproduce some of the prayers they have in […]

Hope in Hopelessness

Writing a speculative piece for elsewhere earlier today, I described how I felt that God gave me hope during my worst illness, that when I came to believe in him, I felt a change. God is indeed our hope and our deliverer, and trusting in him makes things better. But not always. There are times […]

To Touch, Or Not

When I was younger I had a marked fear of being touched, to the point where, if someone touched me unexpectedly, I would freeze up and be very uncomfortable. This presented some problems, particularly when I visited churches where the peace was exchanged and, especially, some of the continental churches were congregants kiss one another […]

Within Our Darkest Night

It has been a while since I posted a song I think appropriate for times when we are feeling bad. I recently found a Church of England website called Mental Health Matters which has some resources for services and so on for people with mental illnesses. They listed a Taize chant called “Within Our Darkest Night” […]

A Prayer When Depressed

This is in the nature of an experiment. I have never written a prayer before, and I don’t claim to be very good at it. I have read some lovely prayers, and I sometimes get people searching for prayers for the mentally ill, so I thought I would try to write some. It may not […]