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Tackling loneliness on the first Sunday after Christmas

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This is a text-only version of an article first published on Wednesday, 26 November 2014. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.

"Loneliness is painful" says Andrew Shoesmith the Chairman of the Archway Foundation speaking recently as the organisation launched its pack on loneliness for local churches. The Archway Foundation has spent the last 30 years raising awareness of the serious damage that loneliness can do. And at last the world seems to be listening "In the past year there have been lots of stories in the press pointing out that loneliness affects both physical and mental health" said Andrew. Meanwhile medical research is underlining how badly this hidden disease can affect people's long-term wellbeing. Archway is christening the first Sunday after Christmas (December 28) "Loneliness Sunday" as a way of shining light on the issue.

It is encouraging churches to give practical advice about where help is available.

In the run up to that Sunday and over the festive period Archway will also be encouraging those attending churches to make support for those experiencing loneliness, a priority. The pack of readings, prayers and a sermon suggestions is being sent to worship leaders to assist them in preparing worship on Sunday 28 th December.

Video clips and PowerPoint presentations will also be available. Details are also to be found on the Archway website: www. archway. moonfruit. com "We hope that this idea will catch on among the churches and that it will become a regular feature of this time of year. " continued Andrew Smith, " After all, it shouldn't really be a shock to see Christians loving their neighbours! If the church can't be looking out for those who may be spending the festive season alone, who else is going to do it?""This is the first time we have done this, said Ray Atwood, the Coordinator at Archway "After churches have used the material, we would welcome feedback, and further suggestions as to how we can improve it for future use.

We want to make this an annual event" The Archway Foundation was founded on Christian values and serves people of all faiths and none. It provides a listening ear and opportunities for regular supportive social contact via its social groups in Oxford & Abingdon and a befriending service for those unable to access the groups.

Archway accepts self-referrals and those made by family, friends, those working in health and social care or voluntary and community groups. Contact the Archway office on 01865 790552 or at office@archwayfoundation. org. uk

Page last updated: Wednesday 26th November 2014 12:00 AM
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