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.
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:
There are support networks and connections available for you at every stage of becoming a more dementia-friendly church.
To view and join our Dementia Friendly Churches Facebook page click here
or Tweet us!
And you are welcome to contact any of the following people, who are here to help you:
|As Diocesan Director of Transforming Communities, David has co-ordinating responsibility for this area in the diocese.|
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:
|Dementia-Friendly Church Enabler for northern Shropshire.|
|Dementia-Friendly Church Enabler for the Black Country|
Dementia-Friendly Churches Blog
17 September 2019
Brave and foolish or a wasted time? read more
10 September 2019
An open letter to those with a sacred vocation read more
3 September 2019
Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself read more
This example of dementia - friendly songs of praise service shares accessible hymns, reading and ... Read more
This example of dementia-focused Songs of Praise service both increases understanding about dementia and gives ... Read more
We're using this prayer at the end of Dementia Friends Sunday Service Read more