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What do I need to know about specific faiths?


In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

...weep with those who weep.

Cast all your anxiety on (God) because he cares for you.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble.

These pages were developed in conversation with representatives of different faith traditions in the UK. They are not reflective of all beliefs held by adherents of these faiths. Groupings and denominations within faith traditions are incredibly diverse and varied, and these pages do not comprehensively address the spectrum of views and positions held within each faith community.

These pages are focused on how adherents to different faiths may understand life challenges and access pastoral support structures. Their focus is therefore on public, rather than private, worship practices, and they do not give a comprehensive overview of beliefs or worship practices across different faith traditions.


The following content is intended to offer information on when, where and how Christians might access community-based support. It should not be treated as guidance on how to engage with the Christian community.

How is life, suffering, and death understood within the Christian faith?





The following content is intended to offer information on when, where and how Christians might access community-based support. It should not be treated as guidance on how to engage with the Christian community.

When do Christians gather / connect?

Usually once a week for worship and fellowship. Most commonly on Sunday morning, but other times are also common.

Many church communities will have other regular meeting times, often on weekday evenings, such as prayer meetings, Bible studies, “small groups”, or youth groups. These will often be key “touchpoints” for pastoral care and support.

Catholic churches observe mass on weekdays, as well as on a Sunday.

“Church” can refer both to a building and place of worship and a community of people.

Where do Christians gather / connect?

Sometimes in a dedicated church building, but other meeting places may also be used, including rented halls, community centres, or homes.

Some dedicated church buildings remain open to the public for prayer throughout the week, and may be accessed at any time by people seeking refuge, peace or support.

Many churches operate additional community meeting spaces such as cafes, community centres, parent-and-toddler groups and drop-ins.

If a Christian wanted to access faith-based wellbeing support, how and where might they do this?

Most church communities have organised structures of pastoral care and support. This is usually overseen by an ordained priest, pastor or minister, but there will commonly be other leaders in either paid or voluntary pastoral roles. These people may be the first port of call for someone experiencing life challenges or mental distress, and may be involved in offering advice, prayer, practical support or signposting.

Some churches allow specific time and space during weekly worship for people to receive prayer or support for any challenges they may be facing.

Some churches offer dedicated mental health support and / or programmes for people experiencing challenges with their mental health.

Most church communities will be registered charities, and many will have named safeguarding leads. Some may have trained “champions” for mental health, or even offer professional counselling services.

Christian chaplains are present in a range of workplaces and institutional settings. Some Christians may find it helpful to speak to a chaplain first as someone able to offer faith-based support our counsel outside of their immediate church context.

Are there dedicated organisations offering faith-informed support?

The Mental Health Access Pack is a concise collection of articles about mental health and the Christian faith, from The Mind and Soul Foundation.

The Bereavement Journey programme is offered widely by Christians and church communities for people who have been bereaved whether recently or long ago, including supporting those who have been bereaved by suicide. The final, optional session on Faith Questions in Bereavement deals specifically with Christian faith issues related to suicide (see below).

Sanctuary Mental Health offer a free course for churches wanting on promoting good mental health.

Premier Lifeline is the largest phone support and prayer line for Christians in the UK. All staff are mental health trained.

Additional content

Case studies and testimonials

The Mind and Soul Foundation website has articles on the subject of suicide from a Christian perspective, covering how views have changed throughout history, what the Bible says and personal testimony.

Particular protective and risk factors associated with suicide and the Christian faith

The Church and stigma

Whilst faith can be a huge source of support and comfort for many people struggling with their mental health, some Christians may experience more negative associations, especially if they have been told that people who die by suicide will go to hell. It is worth noting that this is not mainstream teaching, and not biblically based, but it can leave people feeling very guilty if they have attempted suicide but not died.

Historically, the Church has viewed suicide as unforgivable, and it was believed that those who died by suicide would not enter heaven. Consequently, they were denied a churchyard burial, and the term ‘committing suicide’ became common. Many people bereaved by suicide, and especially from the Roman Catholic or Anglo Catholic tradition, feel especially anxious about potential responses from Christians.

Church traditions are addressing these historical legacies, and church-based resources, such as The Bereavement Journey, seek to alleviate this stigma. For example, The Bereavement Journey includes a Christian priest offering an apology from the Church and theological reassurance.

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