Views from the Pews - Tackling loneliness through laughter

Bonnyrigg Parish Church
Bonnyrigg Parish Church

By this time of the year not only do we witness a change in the season but also a clear reminder that Christmas is on its way! writes Rev John Mitchell, Bonnyrigg Parish Church.

It is well-documented that the road to Christmas is unavoidable and the big stores and shop fronts reminding us that it is impossible to escape the weeks ahead. Crowded pavements will soon be the norm.

Talking of crowds, it is also a time of year when those who live alone begin to feel the advance of shorter daylight hours.

It has in recent months been mentioned that loneliness is going to become a major issue right across the country and not necessarily amongst our aging population.

People of any age can face this lack of social contact for different reasons.

Many churches run groups and clubs to try and alleviate this problem which can lead to pressure on different council resources who themselves struggle to cope.

With this in mind we ourselves at Bonnyrigg have recently started our own Thursday Friendly Hour encouraging individuals and couples alike who have nothing much to look forward to, to join us for this new venture.

We began with a Glenn Miller era which had complete strangers at the beginning of the meeting sharing with each other by the time it finished.

Social stimulation and music in particular can make for a shorter week, so that instead of choosing to stay home, joining us will take up the best part of an afternoon……..and with Chic Murray on the big screen as part of a Scottish theme we offered even the laughter had people talking and recalling their own thoughts of this popular comedian.

It is important to give people a choice rather than sitting at home with no choice.

Ours is a new venture, not ground breaking but it is an afternoon affair as many people do not want to come out in the darker evenings.

We have low level wheelchair access, disabled toilet facilities and a warm hall...why not join us and you might even save a bit on your gas bills!