St Peters Church Birstall

St Peters Church is a part of the Church of England and serves the parish of Birstall. Our primary function is to provide a place of Christian worship and to provide pastoral and spiritual care for our members and the wider community. We are a part of our local community and host and lead community activities and projects. We have a space and facilities available for the use of the local community.

23 January 2018
Yorkshire and Humber
Local Alliances:
Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance, Kirklees 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?

Those people living with dementia and their carers and within our church community. Also members of our church community who may be affected by a caring role or other connection with dementia outside of the immediate church.
Our role will be to offer pastoral support in these circumstances to ensure those with dementia and their family and carers are welcomed and encouraged to continue as valuable members of the church family. We will be there to listen, encourage and offer support in practical ways where appropriate. For example, try to provide transport if required to enable people to still attend church and worship.
We will be able to signpost to specialist services and support where appropriate.
We will be able to provide for a person’s spiritual needs with a capability to offer Holy Communion and prayer on an individual private basis either within a church service, or if required and appropriate at home or in residential care for example.
2. As part of our local wider community we can promote the message of dementia awareness. The local Dementia Action Alliance has had some engagement with the community in Birstall and we would encourage and support that. We work with other churches in Birstall as ‘Churches Together in Birstall’ and as a group we can help to promote the creation of dementia friendly communities and dementia awareness.
We already host a weekly community lunch group in the church premises and could look at the possibility of encouraging community use of the church space for events and groups to continue this link and bridge to the local community.

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

The whole subject of dementia is one which still has so many stigmas, myths and fears surrounding it. These can create real barriers to engaging with communities and in raising awareness. Entrenched values and beliefs, especially amongst older people can mean openness and willingness to confront issues can often be difficult.
With increasing demands on time and availability of clergy and staff there will be a need for willing volunteers and church members to embrace and support our plans and commitments.
We have a trained Dementia Friends Champion in our congregation and other supportive members who would support this.

Member contacts

Miss Elaine Jackson. Pastoral Minister
205 Ealand Road, Batley, WF17 8JL.
01924 446148 07923 288401

Member website

2. Actions

  • Raise awareness of dementia within St Peters and with the local community

    We have a trained Dementia Friends Champion as a church member who has already delivered a Dementia Friends session within church. We will continue to deliver additional awareness sessions and encourage staff and congregations and the wider community to attend sessions and become dementia friends. This will help raise awareness of dementia and the small everyday changes we can all make to support those living with dementia.
    This will enable those affected by dementia to feel supported and to remain connected to their church and community.

  • Support of our plan

    As mentioned we have a trained Dementia Friends Champion as a church member. Together with one or two other church members they will act as a central point of contact for our membership and plan and for any concerns or issues raised. They will be able to act as a signpost to suitable and appropriate services and advice. This will be advertised and promoted within the church and in newsletters, correspondence, notice boards and websites, social media etc.

    They will be able to offer someone to talk to, encouragement, support, and arrange for provision of pastoral and spiritual needs and requirements as appropriate

    They would oversee the general running of the churches journey in

    “working towards becoming dementia friendly “.

  • Environmental Review

    We will review our environment and signage with the aid of a dementia friendly checklist to ensure where possible we are able to make any adjustments or changes to make it as dementia friendly as possible.

  • Link with local and National initiatives.

    As members of our local Dementia Action Alliance (KDAA) we will support and publicise initiatives, events and network with other members to promote and encourage dementia friendly ways of working.
    Such as Dementia Friends, Dementia Awareness Week, Dementia Friendly High Street supporters etc.

  • Environmental Review

    We will review our environment and signage with the aid of a dementia friendly checklist to ensure where possible we are able to make any adjustments or changes to make it as dementia friendly as possible.