‘If it can be said, phone instead’

September 24, 2020

Rev Eileen Thompson, part of the Ministry Team at St John the Evangelist on Princes Street, Edinburgh, appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning to discuss what churches have been doing to keep in touch with their congregations during the coronavirus pandemic.

The item was prompted by an interview on Radio 4 earlier this week with Dame Esther Rantzen, who urged people to stay in touch with others – particularly the elderly, those living alone, and the isolated  – by calling rather than texting.

The Rev Thompson was in conversation with Rev Bob Johnston, minister at Burns & Old Parish Church in Kilsyth, about building networks of people to keep in touch with church members and talking to people more frequently than had been the case before lockdown.

“It is the telephone that really seems to bring people to a proper pastoral conversation,” said Rev Thompson, adding: “The relationships that have been made have deepened. People who were just mere acquaintances have become really good friends, and I think that will continue [after the pandemic].”

You can listen to the full item by clicking here. The segment starts at the 2:25:25 mark.