Livability joins 10,000 at faith, arts and justice festival

Over the August bank holiday weekend Livability joined 10,000 people at Greenbelt 2015 to discuss church and community and share experiences around dementia, mental health and wellbeing in the church.

As an official sponsor of Greenbelt, the Livability team led three major programme slots during the four-day faith, arts and justice festival with the aim of exploring the question ‘Is church good for you?

The question led to insightful and positive sessions around how to support churches in making everyone feel safe, welcome and included in their church. The sessions also explored the importance of churches in building healthy communities where everyone can live a healthy, independent and inclusive life.

Dancing with Dementia

Livability’s Trevor Adams and Andy Parnham exploring how the church can further support people with dementia and their families before listening to the experiences of family members and friends of people with dementia.

During the session one woman commented:

‘I’ve got a mother-in-law with dementia and I’ve already been a carer for 20 years.

‘It’s vital to find emotional support from other people in your situation.

‘Get help, take time for yourself and be kind to yourself – you don’t have to be perfect.’

[banner url=”” text=”Read our Blog: Dancing with Dementia and why it’s so important by Dementia Friendly Churches Associate Trevor Adams” linktext=”Read more >” thumbnail=”” quotemarks=”no”]

What your church needs to know about mental health

The Livability team sought experiences of the triumphs and tragedies of mental health and church life.

It was also an opportunity to talk about the next stage of the Access Pack which will be launched at The BIG Mental Health Day on the 10 October 2015. This all-day event will delve deeper into the issues of mental health to energise churches’ conversation around the issue of emotional wellbeing.

Livability’s Mat Ray said:

‘We had a brilliant interactive session with a whole range of people talking about their experience of church. People with mental health challenges, church leaders and carers all shared stories.

‘We set out to find out what the church should know about mental health, and we got some great responses. We’re definitely going to take what we learned and use it to inform our work with churches in the future.’

[banner url=”” text=”Read our Blog: Making church a safe, supportive and inclusive place” linktext=”Read more >” thumbnail=”” quotemarks=”no”]

Wellbeing in your church

Livability is all about removing the barriers to living a healthy, independent and inclusive life in the community so its work with churches is important to help them create a healthier approach to life’s challenges.

Psychotherapist Peter Johnson explored the steps to helping your community find a new balance away from stress, guilt and worry.

Peter commented:

‘Mindfulness has helped me cultivate an inner stillness, so that when the mind is frantic or just too busy I can find a place of calm.

‘Everyone is different so the best way to discover the benefits of mindfulness is to practice it. You may find, like me, mindfulness is just a really helpful life skill that enables you to know your mind and gain a bit more control over how it runs you!’

[banner url=”” text=”Read our Blog: A word on mindfulness by Psychotherapist and mindfulness expert Peter Johnson” linktext=”Read more >” thumbnail=”” quotemarks=”no”]

If you would like to find out more about the work Livability does with churches and communities, please get in touch with us at