Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 17 Mar 2013.
One Sunday night, just after midnight more than 50 years ago, when the telephone rang at the Sydney home of Alan Walker, then Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
“This is Roy speaking”, said a quiet voice on the other end. “… I am sorry to worry you but there is really no-one who cares what happens to me.”
The loneliness and desperation of this caller prompted Dr Walker and others to establish Lifeline, a 24 hour confidential telephone counselling service staffed by trained volunteers ready to listen and help those in need at their moment of crisis.
Since its beginnings in 1963 Lifeline has been established in 19 countries. In Australia, Lifeline centres answered 541,450 calls in 2012. It’s an amazing story of Christian compassion, care and support.
The 50th anniversary of Lifeline will be celebrated with a thanksgiving service at the Wesley Mission auditorium, 220 Pitt St, Sydney, tonight at 6pm. If you’re not busy you might like to attend.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.