The Archbishop of Canterbury has introduced a free National telephone service to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes during the coronavirus lockdown.
Churches and places of worship have been closed due to National distancing measures but ‘Daily Hope’, which is available from today is offering reflections, hymns and prayers from the church of England in the format of a telephone call.
Thousands of churches have offered services over the internet while public places of worship have been temporarily closed. Daily Hope which is available 24 hours a day on – 0800 804 8044, has been set up with those unable to join online services in mind. The line aims to target those that do not have access to the internet- especially the elderly.
Archbishop Justin Welby said:
“With many in our country on lockdown, it’s important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated, whatever age they are.
“The Daily Hope service will allow people to hear hymns, prayers and words that offer comfort and hope, especially in this Easter season.
“I want to urge people to spread the news about this service. If there is someone you know who is particularly struggling, give them a call and let them know about the Daily Hope. I’m going to phone a friend; will you join me?”
Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19.
Options available include materials also available digitally by the Church of England’s Communications team such as Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer , which is also available on Soundcloud and via the Church’s free Time To Pray app.
Other services include a section from Hymn line offering a selection of hymns which are updated on a daily basis and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service.
Carl Knightly, chief executive of Faith in Later Life, added:
“The Church must be those who offer hope to our nation at this time, and I am delighted that Faith in Later Life is able to be part of this project.
“We know as an organisation of the challenges for older people in our society in normal times and these are not those, so I want to add our voice to that of the Archbishop and get people sharing this number with whoever they know who would most benefit.”
The line also recognises the impact of social distancing restrictions and self-isolation measures on those suffering from loneliness. The hotline is also working alongside Connections, one of the largest weekly gatherings for seniors in the UK in order to combat this.
Pippa Cramer, founder of Connections, said:
“At Connections we have found that well-loved hymns are a source of comfort and hope to our seniors. Hymns we Love has proved to be an accessible and popular way to explore the story and meaning behind some of our favourite hymns.”
The weekly online service is available from 9am each Sunday and this, as well as the full range of national resources, can be accessed on our church online page. This is all provided by the Church of England Communications team.