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UK News

Daily Hope phone line racks up 2 million minutes, will continue despite churches reopening

by Tola Mbakwe

Although church buildings are reopening this weekend, the Church of England is still keeping its Daily Hope phone line running. 

The free 24/7 service which allows people to dial in and listen to music, prayers, reflections and worship services has racked up 2 million minutes since it launched in April. It also got almost 180,000 unique callers.

Carl Knightly, chief executive of Faith in Later Life, which is supporting the service, told Premier it's vital the phone line remains open even though lockdown is easing because some older people still won't feel safe enough to return. 

"We know there's lots of people who are internet savvy and tech savvy and many churches have done a fabulous job online. But there are a significant proportion of people, 4 million people last year of which two and a half million of over 75s who have never used the internet," he said. 

"And so we know that those people might be even more lonely as church members.

"We think it's really important that we can be reaching out to anybody. They don't need to be older and they certainly don't need to be from the Church of England. This is for everybody. [Wer'e] reaching out to people at a time when people might feel that life is quite difficult.

"We also have a sense that there'll be lots of older people who might not be churchgoers, but might just feel comforted by knowing they can phone up anytime of the day free from a landline or mobile in the UK and hear hymns and hear prayers and hear reflections."

In the first 48 hours of Daily Hope, over 6,000 calls were made. Daily Hope can be reached by dialling 0800 804 8044. 

Listen to Premier's interview with Carl Knightly here: 

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