Conquering isolation this Christmas
Is your church organising a special community event on Christmas Day beyond the morning service? If so, please consider adding your details to a map designed to ensure no-one spends Christmas alone in the UK
That’s the message to Baptist churches from Premier, which has created its Christmas Alone map for the fifth year running.
It says that while Christmas should be one of the happiest times of the year for everyone; for millions of people across the UK it can be the gloomiest.
‘While most people are occupied amidst the festivities of the day with their families and friends, some people experience Christmas as one of the most loneliest times as businesses around the country shut their shops, leaving them with no place to go.
‘Premier believes that no one should have to spend Christmas Alone if they don’t want to.’
The map features a variety of Christmas events up and down the country, which in the past have included Christmas meals, sing alongs, and even gatherings of people to watch the Christmas specials on TV.
Premier has also produced a special Christmas pack to encourage churches think about organising an event.
Premier presenter Loretta Andrews encouraged Baptist churches to add their event to the map, or simply consider having one.
‘We hate the thought of anybody having to spend Christmas on their own,’ she said. ‘Premier’s position in the UK is unique, and has the ability to really make a difference in helping conquer isolation, and partnering people up so they have somewhere to spend Christmas day in the company of others.
‘Baptist churches across the UK can really make the difference to somebody’s Christmas this year by opening their doors and doing something in their community beyond the typical morning service.’
When Premier first organised the Christmas Alone map five years ago, there were 60 events: now more than 300 have been added to the map.
They include Ampthill Baptist Church in Bedfordshire, which is hosting a Christmas Day dinner after its morning service. Its event will continue until 5pm.
‘Christmas doesn’t have to be lonely,’ its poster states. ‘If you, or someone you know has no one to share Christmas Day with, we’d love you to come and join us at Ampthill Baptist Church for dinner and company on 25 December.’
Loretta added, ‘We have been so encouraged by those churches and people who are holding events this year; and 2017 seems to be the year that people across the UK have truly woken up to the absolute need.
‘It’s our job as the Church and as Christians to look after people – Christmas Alone plays just a small part in trying to alleviate loneliness at a time of year when isolation is especially heightened.’