'I feel lonely'

1st November 2016

We have two new articles by journalist Catherine Francis on loneliness - one supporting church leaders in helping single Christians and the other for Godly self-help.

When I, David Pullinger, was single - as I was for most of my life - I was usually happy. However, there were always two points that I felt most alone, most lonely and, as a result, got slightly depressed.

The first was in church, surrounded by seemingly happy families and cheerful worshippers. The music didn't always help! And, I learned, many of the apparently cheerful were themselves lonely and putting on a brave face, whether single or married.

The second was when I came back from overseas. I would arrive in an empty flat and think 'Does anyone care that I'm back in this country?' and then fight back tears of self-pity. That was predictably my lowest point. it was resolved by my sharing this with the church group to which I belonged. Two wonderful friends then ensured there was always fresh bread and milk awaiting me - along with a welcome home note. It transformed my life and I felt loved and cherished in a way that surprised me by an apparently small action.

The two articles talk about the kinds of things that a single Christian can do and how a church leader can help.

It's a hot topic. Rarely in early 2016 does a week go by without some media attention to the loneliness experienced by members of our British society. These range from the more elderly to young men. As a counter-cultural organisation promising the love of Christ and a welcome to the community of faith, we are called to demonstrate that there are alternative and relational ways of living.

The article for church leaders is titled: How to ease loneliness in your church.

But as my own story attests, there are things we can do ourselves when we become aware of our loneliness. Journalist Catherine Francis suggests some of these in a helpful and practical way in her article: How can I deal with loneliness?