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A café space to talk about death, dying and funerals.
Gravetalk is a simple way to help people in your community get together and talk about death, dying and funerals in the relaxed easy context of a café space. It has been tried and tested over the past two years and proved successful and popular.
Used alongside the GraveTalk Cards, this Facilitator’s Guide is designed to help you set up and run a GraveTalk event and includes:
GraveTalk is part of the Church of England’s work around funerals and dying. For more information visit www.gravetalk.org.
A5 booklet facilitator’s guide (£3.99). Pack of glossy A6 postcards (£12.99). One downloadable question sheet for participants. Backup website: www.gravetalk.org.
Cards have questions grouped under:
Different number of cards for each subject, with Life and Death having thirteen cards each, and others fewer.
GraveTalk posters and postcards are available at www.churchprinthub.org.
Seen as a resource for those of ‘all faiths and doubts’, and an opportunity to welcome any member of the surrounding community in to a helpful event. Older youth, adults, small groups. Relevant for serving surrounding community.
A brilliantly-conceived resource for talking about death and dying in a safe and easy way – for Christians and the local community they serve.
This is designed as a one-off event rather than a course. Very clear aims of making it possible to talk about death in a relaxed and resourceful way, based around questions on the cards. Not seen directly as an evangelistic resource, but could naturally lead to this.
Facilitators' booklet is brief, clear and to the point. It emphasises the need to have thought through the issues for oneself first, and made careful, sensitive preparations. Structure of an evening event is suggested, with timings: Set up; arrival; Welcome, prayer and introduction to GraveTalk; Groups and card use; Regathering and shared reflection; Short prayer or worship. Text suggested for the opening and closing prayers, and the introduction. There is some background material on Practical information: What to do when someone dies – that includes everything from arranging a funeral to notifications and post mortems. There is also a chapter on the process of grief which is great, plus the closing chapters with recommended websites and books.
Resource recommends that both a facilitator and host would be ideal, and that neither have to be ordained. Both need to be comfortable with the subject, with enabling discussion, and with putting people at their ease.
Cards are brilliant, with great questions on them – very good conversation starters. It would be better if the participants had also the Practical Information on what to do when someone dies, as it is an excellent summary. However, see notes on website support.
This is sensitive subject for us all, in many different ways, so careful preparation would be good. One suggestion is that the resource is backed up with a sermon series or other focus on death and dying.
www.gravetalk.org. This is an excellent backup website, designed for both leaders and participants, with some really helpful information and care around the subject of death, sickness, dying and funerals. Stories, photos and FAQs are included.
Looks like it can't fail to spark good conversations, enabling groups to talk about the most difficult subject in safe and helpful ways.
Would suit a low-literacy audience through to the most sophisticated. Simple concept would work for all. Hosting well would be critical.
Simple concept would work for all. Hosting well would be critical.
This is a one-off event; it would be up to those putting it on to ensure good follow up links with people where wanted, and invitations to keep in touch. Subsequent events are strongly encouraged.
There is a helpful and concise summary of Christian thought and theology on the subject in the facilitator's guide.
References to relevant texts are scattered through the three pages of ‘Theological Reflections on Death and Dying'.
There is a nod towards the breadth of Christian thoughts around the afterlife, and the necessity of faith for salvation, but the reflection is largely a very clear and minimal summary of the foundational Christian basic beliefs about life and death.
This is a resource seen as ‘part of the Church of England's work around funerals and dying.'
Given that this resource is one-off, designed for those of ‘all faiths and doubts', and revolves around a single topic, it should inspire Christians towards including a realistic view of death into their discipleship journey.
Talking informally around the topic of death, but in accessible ways, will help everyone to grow – whatever their starting place.
One of the strengths of this deceptively simple resource is that it should stretch faith and vision for both Christians and others, by providing a safe opportunity to engage with a challenging subject.
Death is the ultimate shared experience; the hope would be that Christians will be encouraged that they have the resources to face it, and those outside the Christian world will find out more about the Christian hope, as well as processing thoughts and feelings already there.
Not seen directly as an evangelistic resource, but would naturally lead to this. Although the emphasis is on making this an event that anyone could attend, the context is still firmly Christian.
Looks like an inspired way of connecting with the community in a very helpful way; could create some great new relationships, and would certainly be an easy avenue for further invitations and conversations.
Death is global; but it would depend on the direction that conversations took. The opportunity to discuss ‘big' catastrophic events is there, although the focus is on engaging with the death of oneself, and loved ones.
Not a focus.
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