Mercy Group


The Mercy Group was formed at Clifton Cathedral during Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy in 2016 to support those suffering from issues affecting their mental health

How the group started:

Robert von Hawrylak set up the group after being involved in a serious car accident in 2011. He was not expected to survive the injuries.  It took several years to recover physically, and he received the medical treatment he needed but found little support for the psychological side of the fallout from the accident.  After what he had been through Robert, when fully recovered, approached Fr Bosco at the Cathedral about starting a support group and he was very supportive of it’s formation and purpose.

The Mercy Group is a non-professional group offering talking and listening support for those who need it especially when professional help is not readily available. The NHS has a long waiting list for help with mental health issues and GP’s have little time to listen.

Those who we support:

The group supports those with low mood, anxiety, isolation, addiction, low self-esteem, family issues, mental or physical trauma, ongoing or terminal illness, bereavement and all life-affecting issues.

Practical support can also be given in relation to accommodation, benefit applications, assistance finding paid or voluntary work etc.

Support offered:

The first contact is by phone or email with Robert when a discussion is held on the support required. An arrangement can be made to meet for coffee for a further discussion, or ongoing telephone conversations.  There is then the opportunity to join the weekly group sessions. For those who find the thought of a group intimidating there is always the option for continued telephone conversations or one to one meetings.

The group meets every Wednesday at 7pm in the James Room at Clifton Cathedral. Those attending have the opportunity to talk about their issues how this is affecting their lives and to receive gentle support from other attendees.  Everyone attending is given the space to talk but do not have to if they are not ready to open up.

The group has seen several hundred people using the support over the years and all report a great benefit in having a place they can talk in a non-judgemental and confidential setting. They also benefit from listening to other people’s stories as often they can identify with the same triggers.

In addition to the group and one to one meetings telephone support is offered Monday to Friday up until 10pm.

The group also arranges social events to bring people together once a month at the Cathedral.

Contact the Mercy Group:

If you are in need of someone to talk to or for more information contact Robert von Hawrylak on 07767 706 163


Confidentiality is assured at all times