During Thought for the Day on Thursday 24th May the Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge addressed the problem of the loneliness and isolation of the elderly in today’s society, particularly in urban areas. Especially emblematic of this, argued Dr Michael Banner, was the fact that so many elderly people eat alone day after day.
In a previous post, I wrote in favour of a model of public service based not on a transaction, “service-user” model, but on selfless commitment to one’s neighbour. It is surely to be lamented that such an ethos has disappeared from so much of the public sector (with, certainly, notable exceptions).
We are blessed by the presence in my parish of three Nordic Lutheran chaplaincies. One important difference between us, however, is that in Norway, Finland and Sweden – as in many other European countries – the major Christian denomination is at least part state-funded.
Arriving where Jesus’ body had lain, the disciple notices the grave-clothes rolled up in a corner of the tomb: ‘he saw and he believed’.
Such conviction does not come easily to the majority of Britons today, of whom many indeed are suspicious of what can seem blind faith.