Daily Hope, launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in April, has now received 173,000 calls from over 37,000 people – with calls topping more than two million minutes.
The service – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – was set up as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes, especially older people and anyone unable to join online church services.
Stories sent to the Archbishop from across the country share how the service has brought comfort and support during these difficult times. Many who wrote in said they had recommended the line to others.
Archbishop Justin said: “Daily Hope has been a lifeline for tens of thousands of people in the last few months.
“We’ve heard stories of people using it who are regular church attenders and those who aren’t.
“That’s a testimony to the vital importance of Daily Hope.
“I have been praying for those who have used the phone line, and written to us, that God would bring them comfort, not just at this time but in the weeks and months which follow.
“The Church will continue to look to serve older people, and those who can’t easily get out to a church building.
“I look forward to seeing how Daily Hope can go from strength to strength as lockdown restrictions are eased.”
Carl Knightly, chief executive of Faith in Later Life, added: “During the months that lockdown has been in place, I am delighted that the Church has brought words of comfort and hope to tens of thousands of people and I look forward to that continuing.
“And while measures begin to ease and church buildings begin to reopen, it's important that we remember the millions of people who may be vulnerable due to their health or their age, and who may be reluctant to return to their place of worship.
“Therefore, I'm pleased to continue supporting the free Daily Hope telephone line and delighted that it will remain in place. I hope church leaders, church members, and indeed all who are aware of the phone line, will keep sharing this important initiative with others.”
Callers to the line are welcomed with a short new greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19.
New material to the service continues to be updated, including mental health reflections voiced by Pam Rhodes which started this week and plans for holiday at home material in August as well as prayers from the Mothers Union on option eight.