REV SANDY MATHESON: Why not see if we can put a smile on your face?

Sean Blackman says praise can really make someone's day

The vicar of St Paul’s Church, Sarisbury Green is running a course on finding happiness.

Have you ever wondered what actually makes you happy? Family? Friends? Good health?

You might think that being rich, or owning a luxurious home might make you happy – but the experience of many lottery winners suggests that great wealth can lead to great stress.

You might think having your family or friends around you makes you happy – but you also know that at times they can drive you mad.

At St Paul’s Church, we’ve found a really interesting course, called The Happiness Lab.

It’s based on a series of fly-on-the-wall documentaries which follow 12 people as they explore what makes them happy.

Various experts from medicine, psychology and faith suggested various possibilities – including looking after your body and soul, practising acts of kindness and investing in family and friends.

These 12 people were then able to talk about those ideas and try them out.

The course doesn’t suggest a precise formula for happiness for everyone, because we are all different.

But it helps people have a conversation about what might help them – and perhaps to try out experiments in their own lives.

We’ve decided to have a go at this course at St Paul’s Church during Lent, and you’re welcome to join us.

There are six sessions, each of which focuses on a different area.

We’ll watch the documentary together and then chat about it.

One group is meeting on a Tuesday lunchtime, from midday, with a soup lunch. That session is then repeated with a different group that Wednesday night from 7pm, also with a meal.

Choose which session might suit you best.

We’ve already had a couple of sessions, but you’re welcome to join us for the remainder of the course.

The details are on our website at spsg.org.uk/happiness or check out

thehappinesslab.org.

The sessions are taking place in St Paul’s Church, which has just been enlarged to cope with the number of people we host.

The Bishop of Portsmouth, Christopher Foster, will be with us on Sunday from 4pm to officially open our new extension and you’re very welcome to that as well.

Lent can feel like a time of denial, when we give up something we like. So why not join us to see if we can put a genuine smile on your face this Lent?

St Paul’s Church is in Barnes Lane, Sarisbury Green. Contact the church on 01489 557613 or go to spsg.org.uk.

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