'Kintsugi' (金継ぎ) is a Japanese technique
for repairing pottery with seams of gold. The word means
'golden joinery' in Japanese. This repairs the brokenness
in a way that makes the object more beautiful, and even more
unique, than it was prior to being broken. Instead of hiding
the scars, it makes a feature of them.
Kintsugi Hope was founded by Diane and Patrick Regan
OBE after a series of operations and events that
took them to the brink; physically, mentally,
emotionally and spiritually. They faced illness
and loss in their family and community.
They wrote a book and produced a DVD about their experiences.
Through opening up about their struggles they
realized how many people have felt alone in theirs,
and the great need for each of us to be vulnerable,
open and honest when life is hard.
Only when this happens, healing can start to truly take place.
Patrick described what led him to start Kintsugi Hope:
"Following a series of life-changing events including
loss, illness and lots of surgery, life became
increasingly overwhelming. This had a major impact
on my emotional and mental health. My ‘man up'
self talk didn't work, and I ended up suffering with
anxiety and depression. I felt broken and filled
with shame. However, when I opened up to share my
brokenness, I found I wasn't alone."
"I learnt that being honest about my struggles not
only helped me, but also helped open the door for
many others to be honest too. It is so much easier
facing difficult situations with others than on our
"I then discovered Kintsugi – the Japanese art of
mending broken pots with golden glue. The gold
makes a feature of the cracks instead of hiding
them. All of us have broken pieces, but instead of
hiding them, we can learn from them. We can
discover treasure in our scars."
The stress and demands of modern living are taking
their toll on our mental health and wellbeing.
Author Brené Brown believes that we live in "the
most medicated, addicted, overweight cohort of history".
The majority of us may feel the affect, but don't
fully understand the cause. Many of us don't even
feel comfortable talking about our mental wellbeing.
When journalist Johann Hari was researching depression,
he found that alongside basic physical needs
(food, water, shelter), we also have basic
psychological needs – including the need to belong.
He concluded that "we have become disconnected from
the things we really need, and this deep disconnection
is driving this epidemic of depression and anxiety
all around us." Other research has indicated that
the physical impact of loneliness is equivalent to
smoking 15 cigarettes a day and can significantly
increase the risk of premature death, while more
than three quarters of GPs see between one and five
lonely people a day. The facts are not comfortable,
but they are real. Each number is a person. In too
many cases, it's a person not knowing where to go
for help, feeling completely alone, in our communities.
The Church is in every community across this country.
It will outlast government schemes and is committed
to people's wellbeing – physical, emotional, mental
and spiritual. Kintsugi Hope Groups work in communities
through the local church with an attitude of humility
– not to judge, fix or rescue, but to come alongside
and love one another. We are all broken in some ways
and we can all learn from each other.
Kintsugi Hope is not just a charity. We have a vision
of starting a movement of Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing Groups where
people can experience: