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Building support amidst loneliness

Church of Scotland GuildEilidh Marks from the Church of Scotland Guild writes...

Advent is such an exciting time – there is so much to look forward to and so much anticipation of the big celebration to come. For some of us, there is also so much to plan!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll love a good planning session. At Christmas, I love to plan everything. I like to plan present lists (sub-categorised into which shops or sites I’ll need to visit to buy everything), Christmas dinner to perfection (potatoes in the oven while turkey rests while carrots cook) and even a list of activities the family to enjoy on Christmas Day (actually my family has asked me to stop ‘planning fun’ for this year!).

While Advent can be such a time of excitement and anticipation, looking forward to Christmas day with the whole family the reality is that so many people in this country don’t look forward to Christmas at all. In fact, this time of year can seem to amplify loneliness by making us more acutely aware of what we don't need to plan for.

We recently heard of a Guild member in Clydebank describing what they felt the Guild offered the community, commenting,

"We are providing something to help people who are lonely. It's the ones who aren't here we need to worry about!"

It’s often said about the Guild that in reality it is the essence of “church”. Church is all about coming together in God’s name and being there for each other - effectively sharing life together. The only tonic to loneliness is building support networks around ourselves and others. The Guild can offer those feeling isolated a space to enjoy fellowship (just one aspect of what it means to be a Guild!) whilst also championing important issues in society and really making a difference.

The Guild theme for 2015 has been ‘Go in peace’. We pray at the end of a busy year, in the midst of all the planning and anticipation - and perhaps apprehension - that goes along with the festive season, that God’s peace will fall on all of us.

If you would like to find out more about the Church of Scotland Guild, contact guild@churchofscotland.org.uk , call 0131 240 2217 or visit our website.

@ALTYGlasgow

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