A Christian telephone line closed due to lack of funding
The Daily Hope had to close on Wednesday after four years, due to lack of funding.
The free service was a Church of England initiative, in partnership with Connections at Holy Trinity Claygate, and Faith in Later Life. It meant to support old people who could not attend online worship services during lockdown. The service provided hope and spiritual comfort to the most isolated members of society. Daily Hope received around 10,000 calls every month even after lockdown ended.
Stephen Hammersley, Chairman of Faith in Later Life, stated: “Unfortunately, it is simply a matter of finance and funding. We’ve reached the point where we haven’t got any more money that we can put into the operating of the helpline. I’m afraid when we talked to some people about funding it and financing it, they felt it was just a little bit too expensive per user. It certainly met an absolutely urgent need during those pandemic periods and it has helped many people and I’m really sorry that we’ve had to stop it. But it is also the case that there are now alternatives. The closure comes with a challenge and an opportunity for Christian people to look out for neighbours, particularly members of their congregation, who aren’t getting visits and who aren’t hearing from their church fellowships. And so that’s the challenge that comes with the news of closure. I’m very sorry that it’s closed because it’s been a service that’s been immensely and very profoundly helpful. So it’s a sad moment. But when anything stops, you can look back and you can regret. But you can also look back and give thanks and rejoice.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury expressed his sadness over the closure of Daily Hope: “Over these past nearly four years I have been so glad to hear the stories of lives transformed, encouraged and supported by this telephone line. It is therefore sad that we have to cease this service. Daily Hope has been an example of what followers of Jesus can do when they put their minds to making a difference – it has been a wonderful team effort and I am beyond grateful for the skill, drive and commitment given by individuals and charities. A huge amount of work has gone on to make it happen. And of course I want to thank everyone who has called – whether during the day or late at night or first thing in the morning. Even though the Daily Hope telephone line ends, we continue to have Jesus Christ as our hope, help and constant companion and I pray today that many of the older people who are still alone, would know this each and every day.”