Updated: Oct 24, 2019
How comfortable are you with your own company?
The charity Linking Lives UK helps communities develop befriending groups, matching volunteer visitors with people who are lonely. It’s currently issuing an interesting challenge: ‘Could you spend up to 24 hours on your own, with no contact with other people and no access to electronic gadgets or Wi-Fi?’
Perhaps some of you reading this already do that frequently; that’s life for you. For others, such a spell spent entirely alone would be a novelty – a precursor, perhaps, of the days when we may unwillingly live on our own, and a lack of the human contact we might take for granted will be the norm.
The question is: will silence then be a friend – or a foe?
The fact we’re all increasingly waking up to is that some of us, indeed many of us, are desperate for someone to talk to.
Three quarters of GPs report that between one and five patients a day attend their surgery primarily because they’re lonely.
When polled, 17 per cent of older people said they were in contact with family, friends or neighbours less than once a week.
Recently I was invited to address the theme of what it is to be alone for the 'Space in the City' series of theological talks for the layman or woman in Winchester. You may hear what I said, or read a transcript, by clicking here.
Anna Chaplaincy is part of a coalition – Christians Together Against Loneliness – along with Livability, the Pilgrims' Friend Society, the Salvation Army, Linking Lives UK and other prominent faith organisations.