Ruth Rice, Director of Renew Wellbeing and Coordinator for Scotland, shares the incredible springboard our BUS conference, Canopy 2020, provided as 20 new centres are launched around Scotland!
Renew Wellbeing helps churches open spaces of welcome and inclusion in partnership with mental health teams to improve mental and emotional wellbeing. These spaces are designed for adults but we are also creating safe spaces for children, young people and their families (CYF).
Renew spaces are simple cafe style spaces run by local churches where hobbies and activities are shared or co-produced. Each cafe space is attached to a quiet room or prayer space where inner habits of wellbeing are shared. Each church partners with a mental health professional from the local council or other suitable organisation to ensure good inclusive practices for safe spaces where ‘it’s OK not to be OK’ can be sustained.
Being present • Being prayerful • Being in partnership
Renew Wellbeing provides information, inspiration, training and ongoing support to local churches as well as developing a simple national strategy for many small safe spaces to be made available through churches and councils working together.
At Canopy 2020 I was privileged to speak about the work of Renew Wellbeing and was overwhelmed with the response over the following year. There were many enquiries and given the distance to travel to do training and the COVID restrictions I was glad of the timing of the book I had written earlier in the year “Slow down, Show up and Pray”. It was released in Jan 2021 so I offered any Scottish churches the chance to train on zoom using the manual in the book and was amazed as 80 people attended the first 2 training sessions, and 70 the second.
Over the years many churches in the BUS and other denominations in Scotland have been preparing, planning, praying, meeting online and now around 20 centres are open or getting ready to open in Scotland. I have never seen such soft ground for the seed of Renew to fall in.
People keep telling me of dreams and ideas that are just like Renew and how they were delighted when they heard me speak about the idea. There is such a willingness to connect and learn together too. What a delight to pray daily online with folk from all over the UK. There are nearly always more from Scotland than anywhere else!
God is renewing wellbeing in Scotland. Do you want to join in too? From one centre in Nottingham 6 years ago there are now over 140 centres nationwide, but there are still more folk feeling they have nowhere to belong, and more spaces are always needed.
I dream of a Renew space on every street, in every village and town until all are known by name not label, and begin to know how very loved they are by the Lord of all Wellbeing. If you are interested all the details of how to get your free training and join this simple movement are on the website www.renewwellbeing.org.uk.
Ruth Rice: email@example.com
Director Renew Wellbeing / Coordinator for Scotland