Weekend Thought with Canon Stephen Bradberry

Halifax Minster
Halifax Minster

Companionship is a wonderful thing. Social connections can provide emotional support and warmth which is important but they also provide things like advice, making sure people take their medication and provide support in helping to do things. It can also keep minds active and alert.

There has been a large increase in people living alone. In the last 15 years, the number of 55 to 64 year olds living alone has increased by 50 per cent. No doubt, plenty of people gladly choose to live alone but the figures are surprising. The mental health charity ‘Mind’ suggests that people who are socially isolated ‘experience more stress and have lower self-esteem than those who have strong social support.’

Companionship is part of our human history. Right from the start God said in the Genesis creation story, ‘It is not good for man to be alone’, although I suppose that in some ways we can all be connected, at least technologically. Social media can help the older generation keep in touch when their families disperse to other locations.

We see that the early church sold their belongings, gave to the poor, welcomed outsiders and shared possessions. That’s beyond most of us perhaps - but there is still good old hospitality. We can care for those around us who have no family near them.

There are many who have no choice but to live alone because a partner has died or left. In fact, 51 per cent of all people aged 75 and over, live alone. This is where your faith in God is most important because in whatever circumstances you find yourself you can have that absolute assurance that God is with you.

You are never alone!! As a Christian you can be certain of God’s presence with you along life’s journey – always.