First aid for calming and nurturing mind and body in difficult times

Here we have links to some great resources for all of us as we rapidly have to adjust to, and cope with, the current situation. It’s important that we invest in our spiritual and mental health for our own survival — and as we try to support those around us.

Avoiding overwhelm — in this article, Kate Middleton (Mind and Soul Foundation) opens up how we get overwhelmed and gives practical advice on taking control:

One Day at a Time — short video talk by Kate Middleton, Mind and Soul Foundation, helping us to focus on there and now and not on the “what ifs?” of tomorrow or the next day. (3:54):

Passing the peace — a video by Kitty Wilder, Life Model Works, on a simple practice of remembering something that gives us peace and sharing it with others (11:04):
There’s a PDF handout that goes with this and you can access and download it here:

Four ways to beat stress — in two minutes, this video by Pete Wyatt (a professional counsellor), gives you the essentials! (2:06):

Finding your Anchor in Anxious Times — Zoom webinar recording by Marcus Horner, Deeper Walk International. This is a longer look at nurturing resilience, covering our thinking and doing (about 1hr). Sign up to Zoom required to watch.:

The Happiness Lab — podcasts by Dr Laurie Santos, including “Coaching Yourself Through a Crisis”. Simple but profound and well-researched wisdom on what makes for happiness:

National Day of Prayer

Candle in window

This Sunday, 22nd of March, there is a call for the church to join together in a National Day of Prayer. At 7pm on Sunday, Christians everywhere will be lighting candles in the windows of their homes as a visible symbol of Jesus, the light of the world.

In this rapidly evolving situation, there is, very understandably, a great deal of uncertainty, fear and anxiety. In a time of such uncertainty, we must remember what is certain: that God is on the throne, he is ultimately in control, and we can totally trust him through this valley. In a time of such fear and anxiety, we are assured of the power of love over fear (1 John 4:18), and that the peace which transcends understanding can overcome every anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7).

Let us be a non-anxious presence as we step into the opportunity to be salt and light in fresh ways, bringing hope to those around us as we reach out with love.

And let us humble ourselves and pray that God’s kingdom would come, his will would be done, and that he would heal our land (1 Chronicles 7:14).

We are encouraging Vineyard churches across the UK and Ireland to join with this day of prayer and action today.

With our love and prayers at this challenging time.
John & Debby Wright
National Directors, Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland

You may find it helpful to have prayer points to follow, and you can download our suggestions here…

Physical distancing: good; social distancing: bad!

As we all make radical changes to our behaviour with others it’s important to remember how vital it is to keep our social relationships close. Thankfully, most of us have the technology to help with this. Here’s a couple of articles from Psychology Today (USA) that you might find encouraging:

10 Ideas for Coping with Loneliness During Social Distancing

Let’s Aim for Physical Rather Than Social Distancing 

If you have any queries or worries about how you can maintain contact with friends and family, do email us at

Resilience in a time of uncertainty

Our banner photo could be seen as being a bit cheesy, especially at a time of unprecedented uncertainty and worry. But we’ve put it up there as it does reflect part of the reality of the ‘here and now’ of life in Colchester’: the pic was taken yesterday from Greenstead slopes, looking towards the town centre.

It’s easy at this time to be totally consumed by the latest news reports about the epidemic, and the effect on body, mind and soul can be very negative.

So while we do not in any way minimise the seriousness of this situation, it’s also vitally important that we all take steps to nurture our own mental health to maintain psychological and physical resilience over the coming months. This is important both for ourselves and for those we care about or are caring for.

We can start with keeping a focus on ‘counting our blessings’ – often there are many more than we acknowledge from day-to-day. The first blessing to think of might be the lengthening and sunnier days, and the signs of spring all around.

Very soon, we’ll be posting here more thoughts and links for helping to develop a resilient response to the Coronavirus situation. Take care!

Coronavirus update

Colchester Vineyard is increasing precautions to ensure the health of our community, especially the most vulnerable.

Accordingly, our small group gatherings will be cancelled for the time being, owing to a risk of transmission of infection – understood to be higher where groups are together for a while in domestic spaces.

We’ll be staying in contact with each other by phone and WhatsApp to provide support and prayer during this difficult time.

Do be aware of those in your own street or neighbourhood that may be particularly vulnerable or have chosen to self-isolate. Get in contact by phone or with a note through their door to check they’re okay and to offer any help that might be needed.

Please pray for:

For wisdom for all leaders and policy-makers during this time.
For healthcare workers and teams as they care for the sick.
For those who are lonely, fearful and isolated.