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Compass is the name of St.Mary's Parish magazine. It is published at the beginning of every month and is distributed throughout the Parish by a band of volunteers.

If you would like to receive a copy of the magazine nearly every month (there is a combined December/ January edition), it is available for an Annual Subscription of £5.00

If you live outside the Parish and would still like to receive a copy, arrangements can be made to post it for an additional charge
For more information about the magazine, please contact either:

Editors                          Robert Pearson
                                     Mary Norris 
                                     Ed Sands    
Distribution Manager    Vacant

Articles from our November 2018 Magazine

Dear Friends

                        'Were you here when the dinosaurs were around? It must have been so much fun seeing them in real life!'  That was a comment made to me by a five-year old I met on a school some time ago.
I told my 2 sisters of this conversation and it set us thinking about our childhood memories. We remembered the games we used to play; how satisfied we were with a ball and some sticks or 5 stones we dug up from the ground. We remembered the hopscotch we drew on the pavement from chalk, animals we won at the local fair. We remembered stilts, pogo sticks and hula hoops, all of which were the 'in' craze in our younger days. We thought of the hours of fun we had with a skipping rope, roller skates and the one bicycle my sisters and I shared.
We reminded ourselves of the days when we were given 5 shillings to buy fireworks and how many only cost[rp1] 3 old pennies and could be held in your hand. The trick was not about the quality of the firework but about how many you could get for your money. We remembered the days when a bag of chips cost 2 old pennies – and you got the crackling thrown in for free!
I always think that these months from the end of the summer holidays until Christmas and Epiphany should be renamed 'the Season of Remembering.' because, within the church, we are constantly being called to remember something. It begins in late September or early October with our Harvest Festival services, when we remember God's generosity and faithfulness as we bring in the harvest for another year. In early November we celebrate All Saints Day when we remember all those who have died and now are part of the great Company of Heaven. The following week we remember all those who gave their lives in 2 World Wars and all conflicts since. In the middle of those 2 important events, our country is called to 'Remember, remember the 5th of November – gunpowder, treason and plot!'
Then of course, we move on to that great Christian celebration of Christmas and Epiphany, when we remember the birth of Jesus, the visit by shepherds and then Wise men and all that it means for us that Jesus shares our humanity and would one day die on a cross for us. It is definitely the 'Season of Remembering!'
I believe that remembering the past is a very important part of living in the present. It is about learning the lessons of the past so that we do not make the same mistakes again. It is about recalling God's love for us so that we can start again when our lives have taken us away from his pathway.
My prayer is that each of us will use this Season of Remembering to reflect again on all that God has done, so that we can step out in trust and confidence for all that the future holds.
May God give you his richest blessing.
Sylvia Griffiths

Arnold Food Bank
                        Arnold Food Bank was founded in December 2012 & is a member of The Trussel Trust which supports a network of over 420 food banks across the UK to provide emergency food to people in crisis. We receive no help from the Government and are self-sufficient in raising funds.
Here are figures we have for our year ended 31/03/18:
We issued 1,705 vouchers serving 2,258 adults and 1,289 children. This is an increase of 33% of people served for 2017. The main crisis types were 48% for benefit changes and delays, whilst a further 27% was for low income. The total figure for food donated was 28,363 Kg or 28.36 Tonnes.
Some reasons for using Food Bank:
·       I thought of shoplifting to feed my children
·       For the past few days I have been begging on the streets
·       Without the food bank I don’t think I would be here today
·       The Food Bank saved our lives
·       We didn’t know where our next meal was coming from
·       And – on a brighter note, The food bank gave me faith that there are people who understand and who you can trust.
Thank you ALL for volunteering and giving your time. Without your help the Food Bank could not run.

Alan Langton
The worse you feel, the more likely you are to believe in God.
At least that is a finding from the latest British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, which has found that patients admitted to hospital are more likely to have religious faith than people in the general public.
It seems that more than half of us are happy to say that we have 'no religion', according to the latest BSA survey, which found that 52 per cent of us deny any religious affiliation.   But this figure drops to only 15 per cent once you become a NHS patient.
Data from the Manchester University NHS Trust also shows that while 40 per cent of the population identify as Christian, this figure soars to 66 per cent once people are admitted to hospital.  

                        Remembering the end of World War One
This year Remembrance Sunday (11th November) marks the centenary of the end of World War One. Of the 65 million men who were mobilized, 8.5 million were killed and a further 21 million wounded. Wilfred Owen wrote of those ‘who die as cattle.’
How should we celebrate this anniversary? In remembering the Armistice, our response should be to desire Micah’s vision of universal peace in our world: ‘They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.’ (Micah 4:3).
However, why keep asking God for peace, when we continue to see such violence and unrest in our world? The Bible makes it clear that peace is not just the absence of war or being untroubled. It means being in a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ, with other people and with wider society.
Of course, Micah’s words are looking to end of time when God will make all things new in His universal kingdom. However, these promises also can speak to us now. The ministry of Jesus demonstrated the kingdom or reign of God breaking into the everyday, as He healed the sick and brought reconciliation and hope. When we pray for peace, we’re rejecting the ‘old order of things’, of violence and war and asking God to make His kingdom real today. We’re citizens of the new kingdom, reshaping the old.
The end of the centenary of World War 1 is a time to consider peace. Although the war did not bring a lasting peace to the world, for the Christian there’s a deeper lesson: peace begins with the healing of hearts, the restoring of relationships and with a deep, costly commitment to justice.
Tower update

Progress continues to be made on assessing the cost and extent of work needed on the Tower. We now have had two estimates submitted for the work needed and await a third. The good news is that the work is not as extensive as we first feared, the bad news is that current estimates range from £25 to £35K for that work with the cost of accessing the Tower a major factor.

Our own efforts to raise funds now have reached an excellent total of around £7K but we now need to develop a strategy for generating financial support from the variety of funding bodies supporting such work. Meanwhile, to increase our own contribution, an afternoon event will be held in church on Thursday, October 18th. The speaker Professor Julian Evans, was formerly Professor of Forestry at Imperial College & Chief Research Officer for the Forestry Commission and has written or been a principal editor of some 16 books on forestry and tree-related subjects, including his book 'God’s Trees’ on trees, forests and wood found in the bible.

He was a popular speaker on a recent eventful ‘Round the British Isles’ cruise taken by Ralph and led the meetings and Sunday worship held on the boat.

The intention would be to have his talk followed by afternoon tea. We would hope as many as possible would come to enjoy his presentation.’ See advert flor more details and please put it in your diary!

The Plastic Revolution

The recent Blue Planet II series exposed just how much plastic waste is an issue in our seas. The Prime Minister has called plastic waste ‘one of the great environmental scourges of our
time.’ The best estimates suggest 10 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans, contaminating and killing sea life. How should we view this issue from a Christian perspective?

When God created the universe, He saw ‘everything He had made, and indeed, it was very good.’ (Genesis 1:31). He call us to share in His care of creation: ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the
earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the ground.’ (Genesis 1:28). Our rule over living creatures is not an excuse to exploit them in a selfish way. As those who made in the image of God, we are entrusted to care for them with responsibility and trustworthiness.

Why do the sea creatures being killed by plastic matter? Because of human rebellion against God (see Genesis 3), our relationship with God and His creation was damaged. No longer do we live with living creatures in harmony and interdependence. Yet after the flood, when Noah rescued the animals in the ark they are included in God’s everlasting promise to protect the earth: ‘I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that was with you.’ (Genesis 9:9,10). This also points to God’s cosmic plan to restore all creation to Himself.

What is our response to be? Where is God calling us, as His people in this time an place, to make a stand in protecting His creation? Time for a plastic revolution?  

Thy Kingdom Come prayer movement is back – and growing like wildfire
Thousands of churches across the country will be joining this year’s global ecumenical prayer movement, Thy Kingdom Come, which takes place 10th to 20th of May.
First launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury and York in 2016, Thy Kingdom Come has spread rapidly, beyond all expectations. In 2016 – 100,000 Christians pledged to pray. Just one year later, in 2017 – more than half a million had pledged to pray, from more than 85 countries including Ghana, Netherlands, Malaysia, Cuba, South Africa, Australia, Korea,
Japan and the Philippines.
Considered one of the most dynamic prayer initiatives to emerge from the Church of England in recent years, Thy Kingdom Come is a simple invitation to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for friends and family to come to faith. Now in its third year, participation looks set to grow again. In the UK, in 2017 every diocese in the Church of England was involved. Many cathedrals took part, hosting 'beacon' events designed to focus prayers in towns and cities nationwide.

The campaign’s broad ecumenical appeal led to more than 50 denominations and traditions being involved last year; including the Roman Catholic Church, the
Methodist Church and the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The positive impact of Thy Kingdom Come 2017 continues to unfold as numerous stories of personal and communal transformation pour in from churches, families and whole communities alike. One of the highlights for this year is a new film featuring Archbishop Justin Welby, his grandson Elijah, and Brian Heasley, Director of 24/7 Prayer International. In the film Brian shares his powerful story of how he went from criminal to Christ follower, something which he credits to the persistent prayers of loved ones. Among the stories arising from the initiative – many of them deeply moving – is one from a couple who had not seen their son for 22 years. 'We pray every day obviously for him but during Thy Kingdom Come he was one of the people we prayed for as a group,' they say. 'We put his name on the altar before God and…
yesterday he came home.'

This year also sees some digital developments including a brand-new website and a Thy Kingdom Come devotional app created by leading Christian publishers SPCK.

Both products will be translated into several languages including Spanish, Korean, and Swahili and will be launched in time for Easter. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: ‘The business of being witnesses to Jesus Christ and of praying to be witnesses compels us to look into the world around us. It compels us to seek, to experience the compassion of God for a world caught up in lostness, in sin, but also in suffering and pain, in oppression of the poor, in cruelty, in abuse, in outrageous inequality, in all the things that go against the Kingdom of God. ‘There is no limit to what the Kingdom of God does, and so the moment we start praying Thy Kingdom Come we look outwards.’

St Mary’s will be open for prayer  for 32 hours : from 12 Noon Wednesday 16th May to 8.00 pm on Thursday 17th May.

The ‘Other’ Mary
A new film about her has stimulated fresh interest in one of the most elusive characters in the New Testament story, Mary Magdalene. I saw the film recently and personally found it disappointing. How do you make a rather boring film about such a fascinating person? Was she, as widely believed, a prostitute converted by Jesus? Probably not. Did she wash the feet of Jesus and dry them with her hair? Again, probably not. Was she the sister of Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead (as the film assumes)? Again, not proven. But amidst all the assumptions we actually know a lot about her, clearly recorded in the Gospels.
On her saint’s day (July 23rd) this year) it would be best to concentrate on them, rather than guesswork. She is mentioned by name 14 times in the New Testament - more often than
almost all the other disciples. Jesus ‘delivered’ her from seven demons (in first century terms, an awful mental or moral condition), and she then led a group of women disciples who travelled with Jesus and supported Him out of their own resources (Luke 8:1-3). Most significantly of all, the unanimous testimony of the Gospels is that Mary was with the mother of Jesus at the cross, helped with His burial, and was the first human being to see and speak with the risen Christ (John 20:11-18). At the command of Jesus, she went and told the apostles, but they wouldn’t believe her, because she was a woman. How times change!

As He was dying, Jesus made provision for His mother’s future care. As soon as He was raised from death, He provided the ’other’ Mary in His life with the assurance of His risen humanity – and made her the ‘apostle to the apostles’.
by Canon David Winter

To see the Movie Trailer, please click here. Hopefully we will be showing this at a special showing at our Community Cinema later this year!
The Beveridge Report – 75 years on

We take it for granted that all children will receive secondary education, people who are ill will be treated under a national health service and we will all be paid a
State pension when we retire. Indeed, we regard these benefits as routine, perhaps not realising this has not always been the case. Turn the clock back to World War 2. The British people accepted their wartime deprivation with a strong sense of unity and purpose in the face of a common enemy. At the same time, it was recognised that long-standing inequalities should
be rectified when times improved. The British Government, which was then a coalition of political parties, commissioned Sir William Beveridge to investigate the best way of helping people on low incomes.

The resultant Beveridge Report identified five ‘Giant Evils’ of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. It proposed that in return for all people of working age paying a weekly contribution, benefits should be available to those who were sick, unemployed, retired or widowed. The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, said “this is the first time anybody
has set out to embody the whole spirit of the Christian ethic in an Act of Parliament”, for at the war’s end the Beveridge Report began to be implemented.

The 1944 Education Act was followed in 1948 by the founding of the NHS. Social security benefits meant people in need could be cared for from the cradle to the grave. Temple had himself published a vision for post-war Britain, called “Christianity and the Social Order”. Temple, Beveridge and the economic historian R H Tawney had been at university together and shared both Christian idealism and the urge to make it work.

This month is the 75th anniversary of Beveridge’s Report. The Welfare State is now woven into the fabric of British Society. Like all reforms, it needs regular attention to ensure the original vision hasn’t been obscured over time. Today’s Universal Credit is a step in the right direction, though its clumsy roll-out needs rapid modification if the intended recipients are to be paid on time.
Christians may want to reflect on the Welfare State. Is it a right or a privilege to be beneficiaries? Do we take it for granted as our due, or are we grateful for what we receive?

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
October 31st marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door in 1517, signaling the start of the Protestant Reformation.
He was protesting against the practice of indulgences, where the good deeds of the saints could be purchased to reduce time spent in purgatory, before arriving in heaven. For Luther, this cheapened grace, repentance and forgiveness: ‘You can’t buy God’s friendship!’

Luther rediscovered the truths of God’s grace: ‘For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’.’ (Romans 1:17). He recognised that righteousness (being right with God) and forgiveness is not earned by good works, but faith. The undeserved love of God and His acceptance is a matter of trust. This challenge to the Church of Luther’s day remains so today! At the Diet (Council) of Worms, he refused to recant his views: ‘Here I stand; I can do no other!’

Luther stood for the free forgiveness of the gospel, by which God accepts us because of the death of Jesus on our behalf to deal with our sin. Is this what we believe? Only trusting Jesus can make us right with God. In what ways can we slip into a mindset that seeks God’s approval for what we achieve in our spiritual lives, rather than in how we can serve as a response to all He has done for us? We will continue to get things wrong, but God never gives up on us!

‘Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.’ (Martin Luther).

There was once an old monastery that had fallen upon hard times. Centuries earlier it had been a thriving monastery where many dedicated monks lived and worked and had great influence, but now only five monks lived there and they were all over 70 years old. This was clearly a dying order. A few miles from the monastery lived an old hermit who many thought was a prophet. One day as the monks agonized over the impending demise of their order, they decided to visit the hermit to see if he might have some advice for them. Perhaps he would be able to see the future and show them what they could do to save the monastery.

The hermit welcomed the five monks to his hut, but when they explained the purpose of their visit he could only commiserate with them. "Yes I understand how it is," said the hermit, "the spirit has gone out of the people, hardly anyone cares much for the old things anymore."

"Is there anything you can tell us," the Abbot enquired of the hermit, "that could help us to save the monastery?"  'No I am sorry," said the hermit. "l don't know how your monastery can be saved, the only thing that I can tell you is that one of you is an Apostle of God."

The monks were both disappointed and confused by the hermit's cryptic statement. They returned to the monastery wondering what the hermit could have meant by the statement "one of you is an Apostle of God". For months after their visit, the monks pondered the significance of the hermit's words.

'One of us is an Apostle of God," they mused. "Did he actually mean, one of us monks here at the monastery? That is impossible. We are all too old, we are all too insignificant. On the other hand, what if it is true and if it is true, then which one of us is it?

'Do you suppose he meant the Abbot? Yes, if he meant anyone, he probably meant the Abbot. He has been our leader for more than a generation. On the other hand he might have meant Brother Thomas. Certainly Brother Thomas is a holy man, a man of wisdom and light. He couldn't have meant Brother Elred. Elred gets crochety at times and is difficult to reason with. n the other hand, he is almost always right. Maybe the hermit did mean Brother Elred. But surely he could not have meant Brother Philip? Brother Philip is so passive, so shy, a real nobody. Still, he is always there when you need him. He is loyal and trustworthy. Yes, he could have meant Philip. Of course, the hermit didn't mean me, he couldn't possibly have meant me. I am just an ordinary person. Yet suppose he did. Suppose I am an Apostle of God. Oh God, not me. I couldn't be that much for you. Or could l?"

As they contemplated in this manner, the old monks began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that one of them might actually be an Apostle of God and on the off, off chance that each monk himself might be the apostle spoken of by the hermit, each monk began to treat himself with extraordinary respect.

Because the monastery was situated in a beautiful forest, many people came there to picnic on its lawn and to walk on its paths and now and then to go into the tiny chapel to meditate. As they did so, without even being conscious of it, they sensed the aura of
extraordinary respect that now began to surround the five old monks and seemed to radiate from them, permeating the atmosphere of the place. There was something strangely attractive, even compelling, about it. Hardly knowing why, people began to bring their friends to show them this special place, and their friends brought their friends.

As more and more visitors came, some of the younger men started to talk with the old monks. After a while one asked if he could join them, then another, then another. Within a few years, the monastery had once again become a thriving order and thanks to the hermit's wisdom a vibrant center of light and spirituality throughout the region.

Alan Langton - British Empire Medal Award.

It is with great pleasure that we announce Alan’s recent prestigious award  for his involvement with the community life of Arnold and Mapperley. This will be presented to him on 1st September at Nottingham Council House by the Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Sir John Peace, and he will have an invitation to Buckingham Palace for one of the Garden Parties next year.

Alan says: “My professional career was always in teaching, and I taught at Eastwood Hall Park School and Carlton le Willows School, before being appointed to the Headship of South Wolds School at Keyworth in 1981. I retired from this post in 1994 after thirteen very happy years within this village community. At the same time as teaching during the week I was licenced as a Reader in the Diocese of Southwell in 1963, and have continued to serve the parish of Saint Mary’s Arnold for fifty four years, and worked with seven different vicars during that time.”

In 1986 he was one of a group of men who formed the original Rotary Club of Arnold and Mapperley, where he is still a member. This lively group seeks to address and respond to local issues and local people by helping with money and practical schemes which we feel require additional support. He has also been the local representative for the Leprosy Mission in the area, and helped to help raise large sums of money for this international cause over the last thirty years
“After my retirement from teaching I wished to continue making a contribution to society, especially in the area of Arnold and Mapperley, where I have always lived. I formed the ‘Arnold Golden Eagles’, a group especially for older citizens where they could find out more about the workings of health and council and social service organisations as they affected their lives. This was a sub-group of the Arnold Area Forum, which I have represented on the county-wide Older People’s Advisory Group (OPAG), the object of which is to try and ensure that local issues of older people are heard by the County Council for their consideration in future strategies.

“I have served as vice-chair of this Nottinghamshire group for several years until last year. I have also served on the Southwell Diocesan Older People’s Forum, which ties up well with the local parishes’ issues concerning the welfare of older parishioners.

The award came as a complete surprise, but is deeply appreciated.” Vicar of St. Mary’s, the Rev’d Margaret Caunt, says: “I think Alan is a worthy recipient of the award. I’ve not been here long but I know that he’s done a lot of good work in the Arnold community and here at St Mary’s over the past 40 years.
How do people encounter God?
Human beings from ancient days have looked to the skies in a state of wonder, and attributed the scope and beauty of what they see to a Creator. For those who believe in God, that sense of wonder has increased in recent years as science has made us increasingly aware of how very unlikely it has been that life of any kind
Like many people, Christians look at nature and marvel. In it they find powerful evidence for the existence of God. It speaks of the character of God – powerful, eternal and with a special place for humans in His purposes. However, it also poses unsettling questions about God, because nature is a place in which catastrophes can overtake men and women in a way that seems meaningless and entirely unfair.

Deep down in human nature is a curiosity that leads us again and again to speculate that there may be a God. These encounters take place in circumstances in which we confront something that money cannot buy. Sometimes it is a shock that leads to these questions – the loss of a job, a friend or health. Sometimes it is joy – such as the birth of children and the longing to give them a future full of hope. Sometimes it is disappointment that the activities of life do not make us feel fulfilled. Occasionally people encounter God through supernatural experiences that they cannot explain.

There are many circumstances in which people find their attention grabbed by the possibility that God might be making Himself known to them. However, Christians
have always recognised that the most significant way that God has made Himself known is through a specific event in history. God has lived in a human body. At the
start of the first century AD, God inhabited human flesh, and walked and talked on this planet - Jesus, the founder of the Christian faith.

When a child asks, ‘What is God like?’ a good answer would be, ‘He is like Jesus.’ Christians study Jesus’ life and teaching because they appear to answer some of
the questions they have about God.

You can find answers to questions about Christianity at is the website of the Christian Enquiry Agency Ltd. This is an
agency of Churches Together in England.

Next time someone tells you that Jesus did not exist…
Recent research in England revealed that 40% of people do not realise Jesus was a real person. Among 18-34 year olds, 25% think Jesus was a mythical or fictional character.  They probably have no doubts about other famous people from the past. Of course, it matters more when the authenticity of Jesus is questioned.  If Jesus was as ‘real’ as the Christian creeds imply, then the whole purpose and destiny of humanity are changed.  There’s a lot at stake.
How do we know that Jesus actually existed? For that matter, how do we know any historical figure existed?  We need to look for corroborative evidence.
In any other historical investigation we would examine all literary sources.  However, as sceptics often discount biblical material because they suspect the writers distorted the facts, we look outside the New Testament to non-Christian authors for clues.  
First, to Roman historians.  Tacitus (56-117 AD) wrote “Christus was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius”.  Suetonius (69-130 AD) wrote of “Chrestus” and of his followers having been persecuted by Nero.  In 112 AD a Roman Magistrate, Pliny the Younger, sought advice from the Emperor Trajan, having failed to force Christians to renounce Christ whom they “worshipped as a god”, when worship was due exclusively to the emperor. The Jewish historian Josephus (37-100 AD) referred to James as, “the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ.”  None of these authors questioned Christ’s existence.
Even-handed enquirers would also want to know what the New Testament has to say.  By comparison with texts of other ancient literature now available, we have infinitely better records.  Over 5,000 separate manuscripts are now available.  One complete New Testament in the British Library is over 1600 years old.  A substantial collection of New Testament documents is dated mid-3rd Century and is split between Dublin, Michigan and other locations.  Much of the Gospel of John is in a document dated 200 AD or earlier.  Modern translations of the Bible result from studying all these manuscripts. It is false to suggest that they suffer from multiple translations.
Let historian Michael Grant have the last word, "...if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned…"
Understanding and living with depression
Lady Gaga helps others with Anxiety and Depression by declaring an inborn tendency to such mental illness herself which is made worse in living such a public life. In times of Depression I am helped to endure by people I admire, such as Winston Churchill, depression he called ‘black dog’, and some Church leaders when depressed felt the Spirit of God deserted them. Depression impacts people
of all ages. Parents may feel, often wrongly, that it can blight a child’s life. Many depressions are one off events. Depression can arise from our inherited make up, with or without some element of life’s stresses. For instance, it’s half of Bipolar Disorder. It can arise from a traumatic experience.

Every 2 people out of 10 are likely to feel it from their experience. The NHS Wales booklet on’ Depression in Young People’ states ‘It is normal to feel down and not enjoy things sometimes, but when these feelings are severe, long lasting or keep coming back, and begin to affect your day to day life, this may be a sign of affects your moods, energy, thoughts and behaviours. Depression can be treated’. It can make us feel unable to concentrate and make decisions, lose confidence, no energy and see no hope. Treatments are available but the sooner accessed via your Dr., the shorter the illness. Talking Therapies are first line. The aim of CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy etc. is to help us manage what is happening to us by finding a changed way to think, behave and cope so as to break the cycle of feeling down. Family or friends can sometimes make us feel worse by saying ‘pull yourself together’ and make us feel more doomed. Listening and caring is what’s needed. For more severe forms, medication may help to lift over a few weeks but younger people are helped by different antidepressants to older people. Counselling, Art, Music help some and a recent introduction of Mindfulness training can help us relax, under pressure, our body and our mind. Those who suffer would not wish it on others but can value the learning for their life and empathy.

Michael Allen


It is said that people over 50 years fear Dementia, and responding to others with Dementia, more than the big C (Cancer). Yet many sufferers live a fulfilling life and contribute to groups that benefit others. Dementia is a brain disease that causes us to lose some ability to think and reason as well as we have been used to. Basically there are 3 types: 

 ALZHEIMERS Disease – 3 out of 4 are this type; 

VASCULAR Disease – often the after effect of multiple strokes; 

 LEWI BODY Disease which is Parkinson like. 

 We are more susceptible as we enter our 80ies though a few are affected in middle age. Memory of past and recent events are harder to recall, but not totally for most people. Sufferers can become frustrated with themselves in not organising and problem solving as they are used to doing. Family and close friends may experience unusual displays of emotion including anger and depression. Sufferers may offer less empathy to nearest and dearest, whereas understanding and love can help sufferers to help themselves. Keeping memories alive is helped by photos, events recalled and by ‘their music’. Seeing your doctor is key to learning how medication & diet may inhibit progress of the disease. Also therapy and information on what is best exercise for you. Each person has their own journey to holding in well. 
 Later stages of Dementia may be years ahead, when extra care help is needed. 

 Michael Allen & Sue Baxter, MHAGS for St. Mary’s (Info. Mainly from Alzheimer Society) 

DO COME on SAT. 1 OCTOBER to ‘UNDERSTANDING and LIVING with DEMENTIA ‘ from 10.15 for coffee at St. Mary’s Family Centre and 10.45 Presentation on Understanding Dementia by Dr Richard Turner, Adults Psychiatrist- now retired -also Reader, followed by questions 11.20 Sharing on Living with Dementia and Alzheimer Friends by Rowland and Carole Harris, followed by sharing experiences. 12 noon close

Page was last altered 2 July 2018

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