We have launched a new website and this page has been archived.Find out more

[Skip to Content]

14 March 2018

Evangelical hospitality

Evangelical hospitality

The Scottish Government has released a draft strategy to respond to social isolation and loneliness. The strategy is open to responses until Friday, 27 April 2018. The broad nature of social isolation and loneliness makes this a difficult issue to tackle, especially as responsibility does not lie with a single policy area or within a single organisation.

While globally we may be more connected than ever before, many people increasingly feel that digital convenience has overtaken face-to-face contact, and technology can actually become a factor in increasing isolation. Government research suggests that 11 per cent of adults in Scotland often feel lonely and 38 per cent feel lonely sometimes (Mental Health Foundation, 2010). However, this is an issue that can affect anyone at any age, with groups being at particular risk such as the elderly, children being bullied, carers, young mothers, those with poor physical or mental health and those with disabilities (British Red Cross and Co-Op, 2016).

In light of this, the Scottish Government view it as its responsibility to tackle this issue and believe that empowering communities to become more connected and social is the key to making Scotland a nation where everyone has the opportunity to flourish and live a high quality.

This consultation presents an excellent opportunity to share the good work that churches are all ready doing as part of their Christianity to welcome and show hospitality to those who are lonely. The Church in Scotland was once a place at the very heart of communities and this consultation offers an opportunity to share a vision for why it could be like this again.

We will also have an opportunity to share examples of inspiring stories from churches across Scotland, particularly in deprived and rural areas. One of the key parts of this consultation outlines their core aims which are to encourage kindness, tackle poverty, address inequality, promote health and well-being and give young people the best start in life – all of which we can be sharing more stories of.

Finally, this strategy seeks to improve and develop the work of the third sector. This places a significant emphasis on the role of many of our Alliance member organisations, whose work in social enterprises and volunteering is outlined in great detail. We are excited about the plans outlined in this strategy and especially the fresh priorities of the Scottish Government. We will use this opportunity to share stories of how evangelical Christians are already playing a significant role in tackling social isolation and loneliness and can seek to offer more support.