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."