The Catholic Parish of
Blessed John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Time to Talk

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Have you Time to Listen?Time to Talk logo

Some months ago seventeen people met in the parish centre. Anyone with experience of – either first hand or through friends or family – of a mental health problem could come and talk about how it felt. Mental health has for far too long suffered from the stigma of being something people just don’t want to talk about. Either we’re embarrassed or we’re worried that the person we’re talking to will be embarrassed or won’t understand. At this meeting, everyone agreed that there are lots of people living in our community who at some point in their lives have a need to talk. It might not be a mental health problem. It might be that they’re lonely, or anxious or worried about someone. They might have financial problems, or relationship difficulties. They could have one of a thousand worries and they just need to talk to someone who won’t judge them, won’t tell them what to do and won’t gossip about it to anyone else. At this meeting, it was decided that our parish should organise a time and a place where local people could do just that – have a Time to Talk.

Since then, a number of people have come forward as volunteers; they have begun some training in how to offer a good listening service and in a few weeks’ time we will open our doors each Friday afternoon, available to people who need to talk. Our volunteers from three churches in Crossgates, Whinmoor and Halton are our active listeners.

You don’t need to have had experience or have any qualifications to be a listener. You need to be a sympathetic person and you need to be prepared to abide by our guiding principle of being non-judgmental and respecting other’s confidentiality. If you think you’d like to be a listener, please get in touch. You should phone Adrian on 07817388332 or email him at af.strain@ntlworld.com. He will explain what happens next and ask you to see Mary Gairn who will help you through the parish safeguarding process.

Far too many people in our community, in our neighbourhood, even in our street, are lonely or anxious and have no-one to talk to. Our Christian community can do something to help.


Last Modified on Sun 15th Jan 2017 12:22:23

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