Thankfully she had responded to treatment. As Christians we are challenged to bring good news to the young people we meet in all walks of life - through schools, sports and more. Offering care and support and. importantly, helping them to know they are loved, whatever their situation, is responding in a Christlike way, with compassion.
Young people today live without the boundaries that older generations lived within. They are cast adrift in the chaos of life, to cope as best they can. Fear of missing out, of being different, all add to their anxiety. There is much that is being achieved across our Diocese with young people, and that is to be celebrated, but we can always do more. Listening to the voices of the young, offering opportunities for them to belong to our church communities and supporting their ideas are all positive ways of just being there for them.
Our own children and grandchildren are part of the generation that will take us forward into unchartered waters. Our call is to be a more Christ-like church for the sake of a better world: to be contemplative, compassionate and courageous.
We pray for the young, the vulnerable and those experiencing dark times. May Cod's love surround and protect them all.
The Vulnerable by Rev Dilys
In this last week two young (unconnected) teenage boys from Marlow have taken their own lives. This is a tragedy beyond comprehension. The loss of life by deliberate action speaks of desperation, of isolation, of being overwhelmed by dark thoughts and feelings that make normal rational decision-making impossible.
The consequential suffering and pain that their families are struggling with can only be imagined. The teenagers, with their whole lives in front of them to develop and flourish, have lost everything that should be theirs - the vibrant energy of youth, the fun, the learning, relationships and above all their place in their families.
At last Saturday’s Diocesan Synod, Bishop Steven's presidential address, on the crisis of mental health among our young people was a powerful analysis of the problem and the effect that social media can have on vulnerable young people.
I quote from his speech: 'Nothing is hidden. There are no private spaces. There is no place beyond the reach of cruelty and unkindness. .No sanctuary. No backstage area where I can take off the mask and be myself. How can I find out who 1 am if there are no private spaces? How can I grow and change and learn if every mistake seems to be exposed to public gaze and retained on servers on the other side of the world?
How indeed? This is a cry from the heart. As I watched the early evening news this evening, a mother was speaking about how her anorexic daughter's illness had been driven by images on Instagram.