The Church Leaders’ Group (Ireland) today issued the following message of support for the BBC Christmas Appeal 2020 on Loneliness and Staying Connected at Christmas:
“Reaching out to those who are feeling lonely and isolated is an important part of the Christmas preparations for local churches. This year, we have had to think even more creatively about how we do that while protecting public health, but we are conscious that this pastoral and community outreach will be more important than ever.
“This has been a particularly difficult year for so many, bringing experiences of loss and separation, especially for those who have been bereaved. At Christmas time, Christians reflect on God’s gift to the world in Christ who would know the reality of human suffering. We pray that those who are struggling will experience the comfort of God’s love and protection in these challenging times.
“We welcome this important contribution from the BBC and its charity partners in encouraging those who are feeling isolated to seek help, and reminding all of us not to underestimate the value of the contribution we each can make by taking the time to share simple messages of care and concern for our neighbours. The unprecedented challenge of a global pandemic has seen communities pull together in solidarity and concern for the most vulnerable. This inspires us with hope as we experience a very different Christmas and look ahead to the New Year.”
Notes for Editors
The members of the Church Leaders’ Group (Ireland) – pictured from left in the attached photograph – are the Most Revd Eamon Martin, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland; the Most Revd John McDowell, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland; the Rt Revd Dr David Bruce, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland; the Revd Tom McKnight, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland; and the Very Revd Dr Ivan Patterson, President of the Irish Council of Churches.
The BBC Christmas Appeal 2020 runs from 7th to 11th December. The focus is Loneliness and the appeal will promote raise awareness and promote available supports and resources: www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/northernireland/appeals/christmas
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678