All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
This question that was raised in the song Eleanor Rigby by John Lennon and Paul McCartney on their 1966 Revolver album is still as relevant today as it was then. This song has become a ‘modern lament’ for lonely people, as it resonates with something that we all recognise as a painful and difficult aspect of life.
Even with people around us life can be very lonely. I remember hearing the testimony of a professional woman working for the EU in Brussels. She said that when she returned from work to her smart, but utilitarian apartment each evening, she was so lonely that she used to phone up the speaking-clock just to hear another voice. Even though materially she wanted for nothing and was surrounded by people all day, she found the loneliness unbearable. We cannot cure loneliness but as a community we can all do something. The farmers market and coffee in the Cloisters have been a great way for people to get out and have a chat. I am sure that we would all like to be able to do even more to help each other to combat isolation and loneliness.
With this in mind the church hosting a ‘caring concerns’ course on two Saturdays, one in February and one in March. The course is designed to help people in parishes like ours to develop our skills in pastoral care so that we can help one another, particularly those who are feeling isolated and lonely. The course covers listening skills, skills in spiritual care with different age groups, coping with stress, introduction to loss and bereavement, boundaries and confidentiality and setting up a pastoral care team. The course will consist of five main sessions that will be delivered on two teaching days at St Mary’s Church ‘Cloisters’. On completion of the course all participants will receive a certificate.
The two dates are Saturday 16th February and Saturday 9th March. This is an open course and it is geared towards those who have no previous experience as well as those who already have experience and training. If this is of interest to you then I would be really pleased to talk further with you. Please feel free to call or email me about it.
Rev Dr. Christopher Noble – Rector