The Parish of Sandal Magna

A Dementia Friendly Church

As Christians we are God's family here in this world sharing with each other the joys and difficulties in our lives. Those among us living with dementia continue to belong to God's family and need to be supported in our worship and fellowship. Struggling with anxiety, poor short-term memory and unpredictable behaviour can make life difficult. Our church can be a place where familiar scripture and worship songs resonate deep within. God's spirit in us reaches out to the spirit in them.

Christine Bryden worked for the Australian Government when at the age of 46 she was diagnosed with dementia. She explained the importance of spiritual support saying,
"As I lose an identity in the world around me,
which is so anxious to define me by what I do and say, 
rather than who I am,
I can seek an identity by simply being me,
a person created in the image of God.
My spiritual self is reflected in the divine and given meaning 
as a transcendent being ...
As I travel toward the dissolution of myself,
my personality, my very 'essence',
my relationship with God needs increasing support from you, 
my other in the body of Christ.
Don’t abandon me at any stage,
for the Holy Spirit connects us ...
I need you to minister to me, to sing with me,
pray with me, to be my memory for me ...
You play a vital role in relating to the soul within me, 
connecting at this eternal level.
Sing alongside me, touch me, pray with me,
and reassure me of your presence,
and through you, of Christ’s presence.
I need you to be the Christ-light for me,
to affirm my identity and walk alongside me."

Taken from: Janet Jacob, 'Visiting People with Dementia', The Pilgrims’ Friend Society, 2014
Anne and Janet look forward to exploring over a series of issues of Grapevine how we as a church can nurture, love and care for our brothers and sisters with memory loss. 

Anne Pratt 240311, Janet Porritt 258775

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© Sandal Magna PCC 2016.
Registered Charity Number 1131795.


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