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East Anglia first for Sharing Hope in Crisis training

East Anglia is the first Catholic diocese to join with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to provide training for those who would like to learn how to share the hope of the Gospel with people who are facing crisis situations. 

A one-day seminar is set to be held in Norwich in November to help train people to bring comfort to those who are experiencing tragedy – whether that is bereavement, redundancy, sudden illness or another crisis.

Do you know what to say to colleagues or friends at difficult times or do you sometimes wish you could find the right words to share our hope in Jesus Christ with others?

Rebecca Bretherton, New Evangelisation Commission Co-ordinator, said: “We are really pleased to be working with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. This is an opportunity to learn from the experiences of another Christian organisation.  East Anglia will be the first Catholic diocese in the country to host this training, so this is a pioneering event. Other dioceses are planning similar training next year.”

The Sharing Hope in Crisis seminar is suitable for anyone who wants to learn the practical skills needed to share God’s love and comfort with people in crisis.

It will be particularly valuable for SVP members, parish bereavement groups, home visitors, and people working in other charity groups.

The main trainer for the event will be Ian Macleod, Head of UK Disaster Reliefat the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Eldred Willey, a parishioner of St John’s Cathedral in Norwich, has worked as a volunteer chaplain in crisis situations with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.

He said: “The course is based on the experience of chaplains from the Rapid Response Team which works with local authorities and the emergency services when there is a disaster such as a terrorist attack or a major flood. This seminar applies these experiences to ordinary, everyday life.

“The seminar will cover topics such as: trauma and grief; listening and asking questions; the difference between witnessing, evangelising and proselytising; from ‘why’ to ‘who’; what (not) to say

“During the day there will short films and presentations, as well as interactive sessions where you can have discussions in groups and practice skills. There will also be opportunities to ask questions and to pray,” said Eldred.

The seminar takes place on Saturday November 3, at St George’s, Sprowston Road, Norwich NR3 4HZ and you should register for it at:

The day starts at 9am and will finish at 4.30pm. Drinks will be provided, but please bring a packed lunch. There is ample parking at the church. The event is free, but donations are encouraged.