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St Valentine's Day love

01 March 2013

THEY might not all have had a special someone to give them flowers or cards, but 53 older parishioners from around St Wilfrid's, Calverton, in Nottingham, were all given an assurance that they were loved by the church, and an invitation to lunch on St Valentine's Day.

They were offered a variety of dishes, and many of the guests brought puddings and cakes. The Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, his wife, Rosemary, and the CEO of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Age UK, Mick Tinkler, came to join them, and chatted to the guests. They were even able to advise one who needed help writing a will, and another about how to cope with a bored husband who had found nothing to do in his retirement.

The lunch marked the end of National Marriage Week, and also highlighted Age UK's Campaign to End Loneliness, which is being supported by the Bishop and churches around the county. The diocese has an Older Person's Adviser, Paul Howard, who estimated that there were 27,000 older people who feel trapped in their homes in Nottinghamshire.

"Many of our churches are already tackling this problem by running lunch clubs, events, and a visiting service for older people in their communities," he says, "but we want to do more, and are appealing to church members to pledge to visit older people who live near them and support this campaign to end loneliness."

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