I recently took part in a Hygge workshop; one in a series of wellbeing workshops led by Rebecca Shivji, founder of CounsellingKind.
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh), is a Danish word, which has no direct English translation and is somewhat difficult to define; however, it is often likened to the feeling of cosiness or ‘intentional intimacy’. Hygge is one of the reasons Denmark has consistently been ranked in the top three happiest countries in the world since the inception of the World Happiness Report in 2012.
I realised Hygge, with its many key principles, holds many similarities with the values and ethos here at St. Katharine’s:
Shelter – the warm welcome we receive each week by the members of the clergy, church wardens and wider church community
Presence – the opportunity for quiet reflection and prayer; to be still in the presence of God
Atmosphere – a warm, spiritual glow within church; candles for remembrance and celebration, and creating an environment that encourages alternative forms of worship
Pleasure – our many social groups, such as the Stitch and Knit Group, the Senior Moments Film Club, Ladies who Lunch and the Flower Club that encourage fellowship and social interaction which can often provide a lifeline to our more vulnerable parishioners
Harmony – our wonderful organist and choir; songs of praise, and our recent attempts to blend the spoken word with sign language thus creating the most uplifting sense of inclusion and belonging
Togetherness in communion; support in times of need, and the many examples of working together to produce beautiful results, such as the millennium tapestry; the Easter project and the church flowers
Equality – recognising the contribution and uniqueness of every member of the congregation and celebrating our talents and differences
Gratitude – giving thanks for God’s love and guidance; the time and energy gifted by our many volunteers, and the support of the local community here in Blackrod
With all the above, it’s impossible not to get that warm, fuzzy feeling, and that is why, worshipping at St. Katharine’s Church will always feel like coming home.