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Diocese of Lichfield

The Diocese of Lichfield is a Church of England diocese in the north West Midlands, serving near 2 million people in 1,744 square miles. Geographically, it covers parts of Sandwell, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, and Wolverhampton.

18 August 2019
West Midlands
Communication, Membership Organisations, Voluntary Sector, Faith Groups, Schools
Local Alliances:
Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Dementia Action Alliance, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Dementia Action Alliance, South Staffordshire 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?

We seek to promote the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being of all those living and working within the Diocese of Lichfield, in their local and global context, for this and future generations. We are a network of Christian communities around Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Walsall, Wolverhampton, and much of Sandwell, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, and with chaplaincies located in hospices, hospitals, prisons, educational institutions, the workplace and other organisations. We are committed to serve all those within the wider community. We work in partnership with other local groups to deliver services within our parishes. Our assets include our spiritual and religious traditions, our established pastoral networks of community care, over six hundred church buildings and halls, and a variety of resources for local communication. Our experience is particularly relevant to times of transition and at the end of life. Our values include the unconditional love of God and of neighbour.

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

Responsibility for community involvement and pastoral care is exercised locally. Whilst much leadership is provided by professional clergy, most ministry in the community is delivered by church members on a voluntary basis. With limited resources and dependent on the skills and interests of those involved, there is a considerable variation in the priority given to working with those with dementia and their carers.

2. Actions

  • Diocese will promote training

    For the 12 months from November 2016, we have expanded our dedicated “Dementia Enabler” roles from one person one day/week in one third of the Diocese to three people two days/week across the whole of the diocese.  With the benefit of this additional resource, our activities for the 12 months to March 2018 include the following plans:

    Run Dementia Friends Sunday services in 20 more churches across the Diocese.  

    Run four-session “Dementia-Friendly Churches" courses (or a one-day workshop covering the same material) in seven more areas.  

    Continue to support churches in the appropriate next steps that they identify for their local communities. 

    Maintain links with the churches already involved in dementia-friendly churches across the Diocese, including developing a dementia-friendly church Network, with meetings and with occasional training sessions to support and encourage those who are actively involved in helping churches to become more dementia-friendly. 

    Trial church services particularly suitable for those with dementia and their carers and provide some training on dementia-friendly services, including training for those leading worship in residential homes which include people with dementia. 

    Set up at least one more dementia group to support people living with dementia and their families/carers. 


    2019 - Second Quarter Update


    Good steady progress, with churches across the diocese continuing to hold a rolling programme of

    Dementia Friends Sunday servicesFour session "Dementia-Friendly Churches" coursesAnnual ConferenceRegular Network meetings in different locations across the Diocese.All of this is supported with a bi-monthly Dementia-Friendly Churches Newsletter and an informative Diocesan website which includes resources on dementia-friendly churches www.lichfield.anglican.org/dementia

    2018 - Second Quarter Update


    In total we have now run Dementia Friends Sunday services in over 70 churches, creating more than 3000 Dementia Friends across the Diocese.  

    We have run over 20 four-session courses in total, covering more than 400 people. 

    Our churches are currently running 8 groups for people affected by dementia.

    We are arranging a day-long training session on Saturday 6 October 2018 on "Dementia - Don't Forget the Carers!"

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update


    We have run 32 more Dementia Friends Sunday services across the Diocese. 

    We ran nine new courses (or one-day workshop equivalent) during this period.

    Support for churches on next steps continues - focusing now particularly on Dementia-Friendly Churches Certificates (see separate action).

    In north Shropshire, the dementia-friendly churches local Network is now established with four meetings taking place every 6 months.  First Network meetings are taking place in the Black Country in early 2018.

    We ran a "Dementia-Friendly Worship" day-long Diocesan training session in October 2017, which included specific workshops on leading worship in residential homes.  One or two churches are trialling dementia-friendly worship and we are planning a broadcast of a dementia-friendly service with Radio Stoke in 2018. 

    A new church group for people affected by dementia started in Hinstock, north Shropshire in summer 2017.

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have provided training to 60 churches in the Diocese of Lichfield, with five additional churches each quarter.

  • Share our resources in appropriate ways with others involved in dementia-friendly churches

    For some time, we have been involved in sharing dementia-friendly church experience/ideas with others, including: - Helping to co-ordinate meetings of people from across Church of England Dioceses involved with dementia-friendly churches in 2015 and 2016. - Sharing information and material with people from other Dioceses. Most recently, this has involved: - Speaking at a conference in Wales in Dementia Action Week 2019. - On-going collaboration with the Diocese of Manchester, who are using our "Embarking / Embedding / Extending" model as set out on our website. Centrally, we have recently put the material we have produced on dementia-friendly churches on to the Diocese of Lichfield website so as to be freely available to others at www.lichfield.anglican.org/dementia, as well as pointing people on to other resources that we are aware of, that are helpful for anyone taking steps to become more dementia-friendly churches at the heart of dementia-friendly communities.
    Being implemented
  • Four training programmes will be available locally

    Four training programmes are available locally: 

    There’s More to Life: Four sessions for those in their late 50’s & 60’s, looking at spirituality; active ageing & life-long learning; volunteering & intergenerational relationships; future planning.  

    Sharing Ministry with Older People: Six sessions for pastoral carers involved with those in ‘deep old age’, covering: spirituality, worship and discipleship; dementia and depression; carers; healthy life-styles; local agencies, falls, fire and crime prevention; end of life.  

    Enabling Church: Eight sessions for church members covering a variety of disabilities, including dementia, prepared with Churches for All.

    Lifting the Lid: Six sessions for church members introducing various aspects of mental health, produced in conjunction with Livability.


    2019 - Second Quarter Update

    Modules offered in response to requests from parishes,

    2018 - Second Quarter Update


    We continue to offer these modules in response to requests from parishes.

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    We continue to offer these modules in response to requests from parishes; for example, an Enabling Church module was run in Shrewsbury this autumn.

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    All four modules are now available, and delivered on request to parishes within the Diocese of Lichfield. These generic courses can lead to the request for more specific training on dementia. Each module is delivered on average once each year.

  • Support national dementia campaigns

    We run Dementia Friends training within Sunday morning services, and on other occasions.

    We encourage churches to participate in Dementia Awareness Week.

    Our Director of Transforming Communities chairs the PMCG's Communities Thematic Group and its Faith in Dementia Task & Finish Group.


    2019 - Second Quarter Update

    We are continuing to run Dementia Friends Sunday services, in response to requests from parishes,

    The Diocese is maintaining it accreditation as a "dementia-friendly community": there are now approximately 55 churches which are recognised with a "Dementia-Friendly Churches Certificate as "working to become dementia-friendly".  

    For Dementia Action Week 2019, we shared a Dementia Action Week Prayer and a Dementia Action Week challenge, to share examples of church service sheets with pictures, to help people navigate through the service. 

    2018 - Second Quarter Update

    We participated in Dementia Action Week 2018, including:

    - Planning, preparing and participating in a broadcast of a dementia-friendly service during Dementia Action Week for Radio Stoke.

    - Running a Diocese of Lichfield "noticeboard" campaign across social media, encouraging churches to share pictures of dementia-friendly church noticeboards.

    - Holding a dementia-friendly "Strength for the Journey" service and two "Songs of Praise" services and making the format for these services available to other churches who wish to run a similar service.

    - Held Palm Sunday Dementia Friendly Church Service which was recorded by BBC Radio Stoke, and broadcast during Dementia Action Week.

    - Liaised with BBC Stoke for local interviews during that week.

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    For example, there Shropshire Dementia Awareness Week day which started with a vintage tea-party at St Andrew's Church Aston church hall, with a walk from there to St John's Muxton Church Hall where a Forget-me-not film was shown.

    The Diocese of Lichfield has been recognised in 2017 by the Alzheimer's Society as a "dementia-friendly community". 

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have run 40 Dementia Friends Sunday Services, raising awareness and recruiting over 1200 Dementia Friends

    We promoted activities associated with local churches during Dementia Awareness Week.

  • Working on collaborations

    We seek links with local DAAs, charities and healthcare agencies, usually with a focus on shared activity.

    We plan for three local churches to join their DAA during the coming year.

    We are developing links with other dioceses to share good practice.


    2018 - Second Quarter Update


    Sarah Thorpe is vice-chair of the Shropshire Telford & Wrekin DAA for 2018.

    St Andrew's Church Little Aston and St Nicholas Church Newport are actively partipating in the newly formed Newport DAA.

    St Oswald's Church Oswestry is looking to become actively involved in the newly formed Oswestry DAA.

    In north Shropshire, there is a current project with the library and three local churches to develop additional memory bags for the libraries, based around the Pictures to Share books, including a "Strength for the Journey" memory bag. 

    We ran a "Dementia-Friendly Churches" day-long Workshop for Peterborough Diocese in February 2018.

    We ran a "Dementia-Friendly Churches" day long Workshop for Guernsey churches in June 2018, with a Dementia Friends Sunday service the following day.

    The ecumenical Dementia Friendly Churches work in and around Codsall was part of South Staffordshire District’s successful application for Dementia Friendly Status.

    We contributed to the early work that has led to Livability’s “My Faith Matters” – a free resource supporting the spirituality of those living with dementia.

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    We continue to collaborate with local DAAs.

    We continue to share material with local dioceses.  So we have spoken at conferences in Llangollen and Cardiff in 2017 and will be leading a day-long "Dementia-Friendly Worship" workshop in Corby in February 2018.  The churches in Guernsey are currently inquiring whether we can lead a day-long workshop for them.

    We are also in the process of including more detailed "dementia-friendly churches" information on our Diocese of Lichfield website, including resources that other churches/dioceses may be glad to share.

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We are currently linked with the LDAAs in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

    We provide training for neighbouring dioceses.

    We are leading on a nation-wide Dementia Friendly Churches gathering on 25th May 2017


  • Enabling Church

    The Enabling Church initiative promotes inclusivity for those living with disabilities, and their carers.


    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have worked with Churches for All to establish their Enabling Church course, which is now nationally available.

  • Area Resources

    We will identify specific resources to address matters concerning church & dementia in designated areas.

    Being implemented

    2019 - Second Quarter Update

    We have made extensive material available on Diocese of Lichfield dementia-friendly churches website, at www.lichfield.anglican.org/dementia - both sharing our own resources and signposting people on to other resources which we find useful.

    2018 - Second Quarter Update

    JANUARY - JUNE 2018

    From services run during Dementia Action Week 2018, we plan to share via our website the format for a dementia-friendly "Strength for the Journey" website and the format for a "Songs of Praise" service.

    We are developing our website at www.lichfield.anglican.org/dementia including adding documents to the website to share with others.

    We are planning a Diocese of Lichfield training day for Saturday 6 October entitled "Dementia - Don't Forget the Carers!"

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    We ran a diocesan training session on "Dementia-Friendly Worship" in October 2017, which included a workshop specifically focusing on people with dementia in residential care.

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    Trial church services particularly suitable for those with dementia and their carers and provide some training on dementia-friendly services, including training for those leading worship in residential homes which include people with dementia.

    Develop resources and provide training for ministers involved in funerals, bereavement support and end of life care for those with dementia and their families

  • Research Collaboration

    We will collaborate with Staffordshire University in assessing the effectiveness of our Dementia Friendly Church programme

    Being implemented

    2019 - Second Quarter Update

    The programme has involved using a questionnaire before we started to work with a church/group on "Dementia-Friendly Church" (for all groups/churches over the course of a year) and then repeating the same questionnaire a year later.  We are just coming to the end of the cycle of asking participants to complete "follow up" questionnaires, a year on.  

    2018 - Second Quarter Update


    We have now completed the first year of data collection and we are returning to churches to get the same questionnaire completed a year later, so that the researchers can assess what has changed.

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    The process of data collection is continuing.

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We are beginning the process of data collection.

  • Use Dementia-Friendly Churches Certificates to embed dementia-friendly churches

    Now that the Diocese of Lichfield has been recognised as a dementia-friendly community by the Alzheimer's Society, we have developed a "Dementia-Friendly Churches Certificate" which we are using as a key element for helping to make sure that dementia-friendly church isn't "something we did a year or two ago", but is part of the on-going transformative work of our churches in our local communities.  We aim to get individual churches signed up with three action points, in return for using the "Working to become dementia-friendly" logo. 


    2019 - Second Quarter Update

    We now have approximately 55 churches signed up with Dementia-Friendly Churches Certificates.  Each Certificate lasts for a year, so we are now issuing new Certificates, with a new set of action points, for churches that signed up to Certificates early on. 

    2018 - Second Quarter Update

    We now have more than 20 churches across the Diocese that are signed up to a "Dementia-Friendly Churches Certificate" with at leas three action points.  We have over 40 further churches involved with dementia-friendly churches and we aim to sign up further churches from this group.