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'We've got to get better at being able to talk about struggles', TV presenter Simon Thomas' message to Christians
TV presenter Simon Thomas has challenged the Church to do more to support those going through difficult times.
Thomas, has been speaking out as he launches his book Love, Interrupted which tells the story of his own grief after his wife Gemma died from acute myeloid leukaemia - a rare form of blood cancer - at just 40 years old in 2017.
Speaking to Premier, he said too often Christians shy away from talking about difficulties because it challenges their faith and interrupts "cosy church".
The former Blue Peter and Sky Sports host has won praise for the way he's dealt with his grief publically, encouraging others in the process.
He thinks the church, as a whole, needs to up its game when supporting members.
"I think what Christians struggle with a little bit when it comes to bereavement; is when it comes to death at the wrong time in life - when people have their lives stolen from them.
"It shakes people's faith and it interrupts cosy Christianity; it's a stark reminder that we are not protected from any of this stuff. And I think sometimes Christians shy away from talking about it because it's challenging their faith, but it's also holding a mirror up to them that says, 'this could have been you'.
"I think we've got to get better at being able to talk to each other, particularly guys in the church - talking about our fears; talking about the things we struggle with.
"I'm not advocating that we just go on about how difficult life is, but it's giving people the opportunity.
"When life is tough, church should be the place where they can say, "I am finding life tough right now". But too often, it's the place where they feel they can't say that, because they're breaking through and interrupting cosy church."
In the in depth interview Simon Thomas also discusses how God brought him through the tough times and how he's experienced God in a new way since his wife's death.
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