Dementia-Friendly Church

It’s important to appreciate that we are touching deep experiences as we name and face dementia together. At one Dementia Friends Sunday service, the organist wanted a word afterwards. “I’m sorry I missed playing the organ for one of the responses. It was because I was in tears. What you said spoke so strongly to me about the experience of caring for my mother. She had dementia and died last summer. I cared for her at home for the last two years. I’d love to take some material to share with three other friends who are living with vascular dementia now.” How strong that, as she connected with the depth of her own experience, this organist chose to take positive action, making connections with other people currently affected by dementia.

Dementia affects many people. It brings very real challenges and changes over time. As dementia progresses, patterns of life change not just for the person with dementia but for those around them too. Many of us have direct experience of dementia – ourselves, a partner or a parent, a friend or a neighbour. In the Diocese of Lichfield, we are committed to naming and facing dementia together, both acknowledging the change and the loss that it brings, and also affirming the life and love that can be shared on the path through dementia.

Play your part in Dementia research. It will help researchers to understand more about how the brain works to support research that could prevent, slow down, or even stop the progression of Dementia in future.

'Working to become Dementia-friendly' logo

How can our churches help, for anyone feeling worried about dementia or memory loss, or stretched by the extra demands as dementia progresses, or concerned about how people affected by dementia can continue to be involved in the local community? What can our churches offer people affected by dementia - and what can we learn from them? How can we stay in step, journeying together as patterns change?

And where’s God in all this? Dementia raises profound questions which take us to the heart of our faith – our discipleship, vocation and evangelism

The Diocese of Lichfield has been actively involved in dementia-friendly church since 2014. The Diocese has now been recognised by the Alzheimer’s Society as a “dementia friendly community”, acknowledging the significant steps forwards we have taken to become more dementia-friendly churches at the heart of dementia-friendly communities and the plans that are in place to continue to take this forwards.

We are committed to support our churches:

  • As they embark on initial engagement as dementia-friendly churches;
  • As they continue to embed dementia-friendly church at the heart of their ministry;
  • As they extend their connections, working with local and national partners, accessing a wide range of resources.
Becoming more Dementia-Friendly Churches at the heart of dementia-friendly communities

There’s help available for you at every stage of becoming a more dementia-friendly church.

There are regular updates on our Dementia-Friendly Churches blog and social media as well as featuring on local media from tim-to-time, such as this service broadcast on BBC Radio Stoke in May 2018. 

And you are welcome to contact any of the following people, who are here to help you: 

The Revd Dr David Primrose

Office:01543 622591

Mobile:07975 644044


As Diocesan Director of Transforming Communities, David has co-ordinating responsibility for this area in the diocese.

More info

Through our collaboration with the Church Urban Fund, we are delighted to be able to employ a part-time Dementia-friendly Church Enabler in each episcopal area:

Mrs Sarah Thorpe

Mobile:07982 248949


Dementia-friendly Church Enabler for northern Shropshire.

Sarah became Dementia Enabler for the Diocese in 2014. As the project has expanded to meet demand, Sarah now focuses on the Shropshire area since the appointment of colleagues for the Staffordshire and Black Country areas.

More info

Ms Su Parker

Mobile:07967 834955


Dementia-friendly Church Enabler for the Black Country

More info

The Revd Mike Bridgewater

Mobile:07531 105853


Dementia-friendly Church Enabler for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

More info

Dementia-Friendly Churches Blog

More news

Latest documents

More documents

Dementia - Discipleship

Jesus invites us to follow him. The first people who received this invitation became known as Jesus’ disciples and all those who have responded to that invitation ever since have done the same. Being a disciple is a choice to walk continually with Jesus and learn from him, taking his teaching seriously and following his example.

  • What does Christian faith mean to you?
  • If you are involved with dementia-friendly churches, in what way does this express or affect your Christian faith?
  • If you are affected by dementia, is this threatening or affirming, challenging or changing what your Christian faith means to you? 
Dementia - Vocation

Every person and each Christian community is called to share in the work of God’s kingdom. Individually and together, we are given gifts and opportunities to serve God and grow the kingdom. Vocation is knowing who God calls us to be and living the life God invites us to.

  • Who am I/are we? What words describe who I am/we are? What are my/our God-given gifts and talents?
  • Who am I/are we becoming? What are my/our hopes and dreams for the future?
  • If you are involved with dementia-friendly churches, in what way does this express or affect who you are and who you are becoming?
  • If you are affected by dementia, is this threatening or affirming, challenging or changing who you are or who you are becoming?
Dementia - Evangelism

The Good News of God’s love which we have known in Jesus is for all people. Through our words, actions and lives we can share with others Christ’s invitation to follow him and to be part of the growing kingdom of God.

  • Who taught you about faith?
  • How do you share your faith with others?
  • If you are involved with dementia-friendly churches, in what way does this affect the way you share your faith with others?
  • If you are affected by dementia, is this threatening or affirming, challenging or changing the way you share your faith with others?