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North East conference addresses depression and dementia issues

February 2021 | by Cameron Leslie

Revd Dr Bill Schweitzer
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Last December a series of talks were delivered at All Saints Presbyterian Church, Newcastle – part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales. The event was part of the School of Theology, a monthly event open to the public.

Alan Thomas, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Newcastle University and elder at Newcastle Reformed Evangelical Church, delivered talks on depression and dementia.

In both of Professor Thomas’s talks, there was emphasis on the image of God. He told us that when those afflicted with these illnesses are Christians, an important factor in their well-being is maintaining their regular pattern of devotion, such as singing hymns and attending church worship.

There was an added dimension to the dementia talk, for issues such as how losing one’s sense of salvation can be a factor. However, Prof. Thomas’s conclusion was an uplifting one as he noted that the ‘relationship with God in Christ is never lost’, despite one’s faculties diminishing.

The last talk was from Revd Dr Bill Schweitzer (minister of All Saints Presbyterian Church and lecturer at Westminster Theological Seminary) on the creation narrative.

The talk was prefaced by describing the widespread view among unbelievers that ‘nature alone’ is all we need. Revd Schweitzer said that while God’s glory is manifested in nature, Scripture is the only authority we can rely upon. As to the question of God’s purpose in creation, the answer was to ‘manifest his own glory’.

Cameron Leslie

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