Last summer I attended a Death cafe run by the Quakers at the Greenbelt Festival and ever since it has been my ambition to hold one at my free church. Death cafes are referred to in K220 Death, dying and bereavement, one of the modules I teach on. They are an opportunity to have a frank discussion about death in an informal environment, they are not a counselling session or necessarily an information event, but open discussion to encourage reflection on our perspectives and needs. The Anglican church has a similar programme called GraveTalk, which I have purchased the resources for.
So I was really pleased last Sunday to have a discussion with our minister about grieving and the need for churches to serve their congregation in facilitating discussions about dying. He is really keen that we explore mechanisms to do this and I discussed death cafes with him. My church has a scheme where members of the congregation can submit ideas for small groups that they can run for a term, these might be anything from a bible study to a knitting group. I now have this idea for the autumn of hosting a 5 week course which will be a sort of Christian death cafe, with frank discussion, a short biblical perspective and prayer. Currently my outline is looking like an introductory week, death, dying, grieving and resurrection. I'm now thinking about who to ask to co-lead with me and have a couple of ideas.