Related to this section ...

Diocesan support for bereavement by suicide charity

The Church of England in Cumbria has thrown its support behind a charity which helps people whose loved ones take their own lives.

It comes as the local branch of the National Charity, Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide, prepares to hold an open meeting next month.

SOBS is a self-help group which provides support and advice across the county for those who have experienced loss due to suicide.

John Brown is the group facilitator at SOBS. Twenty years ago his father, Mac, took his own life.

John said: “We are not about trying to create fixes for people affected by suicide. We are about helping people move towards a new normal for their lives.

“We appreciate that the affects of suicide are forever and no amount of reassurance will change that. But we can support people as they find a new normal.

“We provide an environment in which people can talk frankly about how they’ve been affected and in a way which they are not judged.”

The local branch of SOBS was set up just over two years ago. Since then 60 people who have been affected by suicide have been helped by the group.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome said: “Losing a loved one is always difficult but perhaps more so if they have taken their own life.

“It can leave so many unanswered questions for those left behind and so many challenges for people to face.

“It’s critical that there is a robust support network in place to provide support for those survivors for as long as they need it and that is what is being offered through the work of the members of the Cumbrian branch of SOBS.

“A person’s faith can be challenged at these times too and we as a church would always look to work alongside those affected.

“I hope that through such initiatives as the SOBS Open Day, more and more people will come to know of the help which is on offer to those affected by suicide.”

The open meeting will be held at the Heaves Hotel on the A590 near Kendal on Sunday 2 June, 2013, from 12 to 3pm.

Members previously affected and isolated by suicide will be on hand to welcome anyone who needs help and advice.

People wanting to know more can contact John Brown on 07572 975721 or e-mail


For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434 or at



  • Diocesan Director of Education announces retirement Posted Tuesday 10 September ...