The Loneliness of London

An article on the BBC this week drew my attention with quite the headline stat:

More than a quarter of Londoners say they feel lonely often or all of the time
— BBC News, 20th Nov

It is as many of us have experienced. London, is a lonely place. With such a high turnover of people and everyone being so busy most of the time, there is a significant loss of community. And with that, can come serious depression and mental health issues.

How on earth do you start to address that?

Perhaps the obvious answer is to rebuild these communities, but around what? Perhaps we could around common interests, of sport, hobbies, theatre, the arts, all kinds of things. But there is a danger in that as well. If we only spend time with people that share our common interests, then we wont ever be challenged, stretched and tested in our understanding of current events, life and the world. We will become just as we are in much of our work, specialised to such a degree we cannot fathom what other people do, losing large chunks of our ability to empathise with those around us.

But what then, could bring us together?

There's no easy answer to that, but my hope is the church as the people can do something for the people by the people. Christmas can be a good time for that, with Carol Services (like CWCs) and Christmas Markets. The church here in Canada Water wants to help build that community, not around hobbies, but around shared space and location. If you're near the area, come join us for the Carol Service or on a Sunday, we'd love to have you, and help you get to know others in the area.

Original article: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-20324373