Diocese of Blackburn

The Blackburn Diocese is sometimes called ‘the Church of England in Lancashire’ as the borders of the Diocese and County are virtually the same. It has also been called ‘England in miniature’ as its social and geographical characteristics echo the variety of the country. Our communities range from cities to secluded villages; scenery from a varied coastline to high moors; and homes from traditional mill terraces to expanding new build estates. The Diocese was founded in 1926 by the then Bishop of Manchester, William Temple, who was concerned to emphasise Christian pastoral support for the expanding cotton towns. This was underlined by transforming the parish church at the centre of Blackburn into Lancashire’s Anglican cathedral. The Diocese has 226 parishes and covers all of the Districts of Lancashire together with Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen

19 February 2016
North West
Faith Groups, Voluntary Sector, Charity, Children Young People and Students, Local DAA Members, Voluntary
Local Alliances:
Lancashire Dementia Action Alliance, Lancaster and Morecambe Dementia Action Alliance , Fylde and Wyre Dementia Action Alliance , Untitled, Blackpool Dementia Action Alliance, Pendle Dementia Action Alliance, Blackburn with Darwen Dementia Action Alliance, Hyndburn Dementia Action Alliance, Burnley Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Christian Faith proclaims God’s inclusive love for all people and Jesus, in his earthly life showed a particular care and compassion for those on the margins of society and he set the pattern which all Christians seek to follow. God does not value people according to their memory and intellectual skills but loves each one of us unconditionally. All people, whether cognitively impaired or not, are God’s children and his treasured possessions. It is; therefore, very important that people with dementia are affirmed and treated with dignity and compassion within His Church and Kingdom. The Church should value the contribution which all people bring to the life of their communities. Parish churches are key links in local communities and have valuable resources: Buildings that can be used for events and support groups Networking and awareness raising potential People with a range of skills and experiences to draw upon Working with those of other Christian traditions and other faiths to support a cross section of people with dementia and their carers Knowledge and relations with residential and nursing homes in their community Links with local voluntary groups and businesses , facilitating and encouraging partnership working to provide wrap round services to local people Challenging social justice issues e.g. poverty in all its guises

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Dementia continues to be surrounded by fears and stigmas which create significant barriers to awareness, communication and engagement with the issues: Dementia is regarded with fear, even dread, by many. This is especially true for older people, most of whom have witnessed dementia happening to someone close to them, either friend or family. Some people are able to adapt and find fulfillment in caring and supporting, but others are left with very difficult feelings relating to fear, grief and inadequacy which are a barrier to engagement and can give rise to defensive or dismissive attitudes and a tendency to ‘fall away’ from those who need help. The stigma surrounding dementia also means that those who are affected, both the person and the carer, often feel embarrassed and ashamed and do not want to step forward to say they need some help and support. The process of encouraging people to come forward and get help, therefore, is also complex and needs to be handled with a lot of sensitivity and care. There are limitations on how much care and support people within congregations can provide; support of people with dementia, therefore, must compete with other needs within congregations and communities. This also applies to clergy and church officials who are increasingly ‘time poor’ and may feel that there are more pressing demands on their time and energy.

2. Actions

  • Dementia Friendly Churches

    Establish training courses for members of churches to enable them to provide appropriate care for dementia sufferers and their carers in a faith setting.

    To enable the churches to play their part in dementia friendly communities

    Being implemented
  • Signposting

    Signposting: ensure we know of dementia local support services to signpost visitors to.

  • Dementia Awareness

    Promote free Dementia Friends sessions for visitors and the local community. Look into hosting a Dementia Friends session in our venues.

  • Environment

    Use the environment checklists to review how the church's physical aspects may cause challenges for people with dementia, using the checklists available on the DAA website: http://www.dementiaaction.org.uk/resources/environments

  • Dementia friendly Mosques

    Encouraging development of Dementia friendly Mosques