As the profile the understanding of loneliness both locally and nationally is increasing, Archway is being called on more and more to help to deepen understanding on the topic. This month Archway’s Church Liaison Group recently ran the third of our morning training workshops designed to help equip church leaders, church pastoral care workers and members of the laity. The workshop focused on the issue of loss, looking at the topic both for ourselves and the communities we belong to.
The experience of loss is universal to human experience and is a painful cause of loneliness. As we move through life, we encounter our own unique sorrow and loss: broken relationships, unfulfilled ambitions, economic pressures. The workshop explored how moments of transition in life can lead to feelings of loneliness. We looked at the importance of empathy and of “active” listening. It was good to think about how we can make a difference individually and how the churches can play a vital part in giving the essential sense of belonging, feeling valued and being cared for.
We were enormously encouraged by the nearly 30 people who attended and to see their awareness of, and concern for, those experiencing loneliness as a result of the many and accumulative effects of loss in our lives. We received a very positive response showing again that these workshops are appreciated and meeting a definite need as churches become more aware of the debilitating physical, emotional and spiritual effects of loneliness on individuals and society as a whole.
Our thanks to the volunteers who came and provided the much needed practical behind the scenes support.