I wanted to take a moment to recommend Daily Hope, especially for those of you who are ministering to the elderly during this time.
Daily Hope is a free phone line (0800 804 8044) which offers a simple ministry to those who might struggle to access services and prayers online. We know churches across the country have risen to the challenge of engaging many creatively online with worship and prayer during lockdown. We were also aware that this also highlighted the ‘digital divide’ between those for whom the online world comes easily and others for whom it is inaccessible and alien. We know that less than a quarter of over 75 year olds regularly engage in online platforms and so wanted to make sure they weren’t excluded from worship in a time of isolation.That’s where Daily Hope comes in.
Daily Hope is an example of a great working together across the church – backed by the Archbishops’ Council – to deliver a solution to a real need. Specialists whose vocation is to minister amongst ‘seniors’, those who have got great tech skills, liturgists and musicians, those from Comms and the Evangelism and Witness team at Lambeth Palace gathered together at the beginning of April to see if they could make this happen.
On the 26th of April the free phoneline was launched. The line offers each caller a number of options – a collection of well-known hymns, the stories behind the hymns, joining in with Morning or Evening Prayer, or receiving the latest relevant public health advice. Since it launched, Daily Hope has received over 150,000 calls totalling 1.7 million minutes from nearly 38,000 unique callers. Callers receive a welcome from Archbishop Justin and then a series of options.Feedback has been hugely positive.
“My mum is 89 and suffers from macular degeneration. She is living alone nearly 200 miles from us without internet access, and, like many at this time, is feeling extremely depressed and isolated. A few weeks ago I told her about the phone line ‘Daily Hope’. I can’t begin to tell you how much she appreciates this initiative. It has brought her such comfort, and I know that she spends many hours listening to it, particularly in the night when she’s unable to sleep.”
Stories like this make it all worthwhile and we’d love it if you can pass out the details of this wonderful service to those in your congregation who could benefit. You can read more on the Church of England website here.
Do continue to let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you during this time.