Worship phone line launched to reach older Christians

Many older people do not have access to the internet.Pixabay

A free worship phone line has been launched by the Church of England during the coronavirus lockdown. 

It is part of a number of resources provided by the Church of England to support Christians in their worship at home while church buildings remain closed. 

The phone line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 and has been set up particularly for those who are unable to join online services. 

The coronavirus lockdown has forced churches across the country to move their services online, but there are still many people, especially older people, who do not have internet access at home. 

It is hoped that the phone line will help to ease feelings of loneliness as a result of social distancing and self-isolation measures. 

Callers to the line will be welcomed by a special greeting from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on Covid-19.

The selection of hymns is updated daily.  Another option entitled 'Hymns We Love' offers a hymn and reflection, and is based on an initiative by the Connections group at Holy Trinity Claygate, in Surrey, which is partnering with the Church of England on the service. 

The Archbishop said: "With many in our country on lockdown, it's important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated, whatever age they are.

"The Daily Hope service will allow people to hear hymns, prayers and words that offer comfort and hope, especially in this Easter season.

"I want to urge people to spread the news about this service. If there is someone you know who is particularly struggling, give them a call and let them know about the Daily Hope. I'm going to phone a friend; will you join me?"

Carl Knightly, chief executive of Faith in Later Life, another partner of the phone line, added: "The Church must be those who offer hope to our nation at this time, and I am delighted that Faith in Later Life is able to be part of this project.

"We know as an organisation of the challenges for older people in our society in normal times and these are not those, so I want to add our voice to that of the Archbishop and get people sharing this number with whoever they know who would most benefit."