News from the Mag March 2021

Matthew Price BEM 2Reverend Matthew Price
I imagine that it is no surprise that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in increased levels of loneliness and social isolation. Research that was published at the end of last year found that those who were most lonely prior to the pandemic had felt increasingly lonely during the pandemic. This increase began as physical distancing, shielding, and lockdown measures were introduced in the UK, in March 2020 and those who were most at risk of being lonely included those who were on low incomes or out of work, or are living with a mental health condition.
At St Mary Magdalene we are involved in two particular initiatives which are seeking to combat this effect of the pandemic. Although the vision will not be realised until some of the restrictions which are currently affecting our lives are released, we are working with a number of other partners on the possibility of a Men’s Shed in Gorleston. Planning is at an early stage and we would welcome anyone who wants to get involved in shaping this new initiative.
It is well known, I think, that Men can face particular challenges in seeking support and friendship and the vision behind Men’s Sheds is that they provide a place for social connections and friendship building in an understanding and supportive environment, whilst sharing skills, knowledge and a lot of laughter.  Please do get in touch with either me if you would like to be involved. There is currently a group meeting monthly on Zoom to begin planning and we would love to welcome you!
In addition, as I mentioned last month, a number of churches across the town, including St Mary Magdalene, are partnering on a telephone befriending project, known as Two’s Company. Anyone who would like a bit of regular telephone company can sign up to receive a weekly call from a trained and vetted volunteer – hopefully reducing the feeling of loneliness and isolation! If you would like to receive a call – or know someone who would – please do call the information line on 0800 999 1848 which is now live.
When Jesus was on earth, he said that he came to bring life, in all its fullness. It may feel that the current restrictions curtail that fullness of life, but we hope that these two initiatives might go some way to combatting that feeling and restoring some of the fullness we experience in social interaction
published in the Gorleston Community Magazine



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