Weve been circulating our bi-monthly Dementia-Friendly Churches Newsletter since last autumn and I love it when two-way communication flows from it. Hilary Griffin from St Andrews Church, Church Aston emailed in response to the Newsletter, saying, I always need about a week to ingest and process your wonderful emails! Hilary has updated me on the activity thats going on in and around St Andrews Church, Church Aston, Newport.
Hilary and Janice Anderson from St Andrews kindly hosted a Dementia-Friendly Churches course last autumn and theres real support for becoming more dementia-friendly from their vicar, Rev Zoe Heming, too. Heres a flavour of some of the activity thats been going on in recent months:
- St Andrews is holding a Dementia Friendly Songs of Praise this coming Sunday 13th May at 10am you can see the poster for it!
- Theres discussion amongst Churches Together to see the level of interest and potential support for starting a tea and/or a singing group locally for people affected by dementia.
- The Communion services delivered by St Andrews Church in two local care homes have been updated.This has involved changing the music/hymn/prayer sheets to laminated yellow/black with symbols.Also, a large chalice has been introduced, which is more reminiscent of communion in church and easier to handle than the one from the home communion set. There have also been conversations with the care homes, explaining that these changes are to make the experience more meaningful for the residents.
- All church services which are projected on to screen have pictures/symbols to help people navigate through the service.
- Name badges are being introduced for all church Welcomers.
- Contact has been made with the Care Navigator in the local surgery.
- A Local Information Sheet has been tailored to Newport Information, including details of a local Newport support group and this is being shared round town.
- The church is taking an active part in the newly-formed Newport Dementia Action Alliance.
What an exciting range of developments!This feels a wonderful example of working to become a dementia-friendly church at the heart of a dementia-friendly community.So Im delighted to finalise a dementia-friendly churches Certificate for St Andrews Church, Church Aston, identifying actions which they are planning to take in the year ahead.