The Price of Love

by Michael Ford last modified 01 Jul, 2015 10:48 AM

Nearly two hundred teachers, care workers, clergy and funeral directors gathered in the Dorford Centre Dorchester on Friday 7 October to hear key speakers at a national Bereavement Conference.

The Price of Love

Winston's Wish Founder Julie Stokes

The Bishop of Sherborne, Dr Graham Kings, introduced the session and Sir Al Aynsley-Green began by quoting HM the Queen saying “Grief is the price we pay for love,” noting it as a profound insight into a taboo subject.

He went on to stress the complexity of the issues and that, due to existing services such as Childline being oversubscribed and government services being cut, the need for greater numbers of trustworthy people for children to turn to.

Warning of the dangers of being too concerned with prediction, calculation and control, and not enough on the messy reality of death as part of life, Sir Al said simply, “Death has somehow become a consumer choice… but death is just part of life. Are you prepared for the inevitable?”

He challenged delegates to consider how they could become personally involved, saying, “I think we have enormous opportunities in the church to become involved in this arena. So where do we go from here?”

Winston’s Wish founder Julie Stokes coined the phrase ‘curious compassion’, read letters written by children to bereaved friends and spoke on the need for positive communication and support for parents, families and teachers. She suggested creative, age-appropriate ways to broach the subject of mortality with children.

She said, “It’s about understanding the meaning of a particular death for a particular child… we need to work together to ensure that care happens whether children are at home, or in schools, in churches or anywhere else.”

Notes
Sir Al is the Chairman of the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education. He was Children’s Commissioner for England 2005-2010.

Winston's Wish is the leading childhood bereavement charity and the largest provider of services to bereaved children, young people and their families in the UK.

The Childhood Bereavement Network provides resources for those supporting children and young people who have been bereaved. 

Links
First Media Release 
Sir Al Aynsley-Green (Guardian profile) 
Winston’s Wish 
Childhood Bereavement Network 
Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education 

Further information contact
Secretary to the Bishop of Sherborne, Debbie Albery:
01202 659427, debbie.albery@salisbury.anglican.org 

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