by Revd. Ronald Messenger
Greenwoods in Stock, Essex was opened by the West Ham Central Mission in 1948 as their Country Centre. In 1965 Ron Messenger took charge of the work in Greenwoods and under him it it became a Therapeutic Community using a psycho-social model for the support, in a residential setting, of those suffering mental ill health and particularly those with a serious personality disorder. Over the course of thirty years there was some pioneering work and remarkable stories of triumph over adversity. Sketch of Greenwoods reproduced by the kind permission of Terry Vanner 2005
©Terry Vennor 2005
In his new book "The Greenwood Years" Ron Messenger has written many of his memories of setting up the community and stories of life in the community.
About the book:
Too much of the worst suffering in our society is bypassed, ignored or misunderstood and therefore untreated. Christian compassion has often inspired a response to these unmet needs. This book is a factual account of a remarkable story that began in a large psychical hospital in 1953 where Ron Messenger was plunged into the hazards of an untrained, part time chaplaincy.
That experience as a member of the hospital team, inspired his vision of a Christian therapeutic community when he was called to take charge of Greenwoods, the Country Centre of West Ham Central Mission in 1965. Greenwoods developed as a safe environment in which an extraordinarily diverse community of people could work together finding their own value and a new path for the future. We meet many of these people in this amazing story. This book will appeal to all concerned enough to listen to the unheeded pain of others and especially to those in the service of healing, who stand at the crossroads of psychiatry, social work, counselling and Christian ministry. The book has been published by WHCM.
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