The President of the Methodist Conference has said that a faith which shies away from the issue of death is "neither real nor relevant" in today's world.
Speaking as the Church launches its new booklet A Gift of Remembrance, the Rev Alison Tomlin said: “Everyone is affected by death at some point in their lives and a faith that shies away from these issues would be neither real nor relevant. Because it can be emotionally difficult and painful it’s easy to want to put the issue to one side, to try not to think about it or deal with it. But as Christians we believe in a God of hope, a God who is with us even in the valley of the shadow of death.”
The booklet offers reflections on death, dying, mourning and loss. It includes Bible passages, prayers and reflections from a variety of authors, including John Donne, Anne Bronte and a soldier killed in war in France in 1944.
A Gift of Remembrance is being launched next week at the Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park in Surrey.
The publication is being pitched as ideal for pastoral care and chaplaincy, including use with friends and family who are mourning.
“This booklet is not just for Remembrance Sunday – it’s something I know I can give to people who are grieving, as we reflect on the experience together,” added Ms Tomlin.
A previous publication in the Methodist series, A Gift of Peace, has sold nearly 15,000 copies, the Church claims.
A Gift of Remembrance can be purchased from www.methodistpublishing.org.uk at the price of £5 for 50 copies (plus postage and packing).
The Methodist Church is one of the largest Christian denominations in Britain, with nearly 241,000 members and regular contact with over 550,000 people. It has 5,237 churches across the country and also maintains links with other Methodist churches totalling a worldwide membership of 70 million.