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.

29 December 2017
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. 


    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.

  • 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.

    Hopeful Mind, Peaceful Heart: Six sessions for church members introducing various aspects of mental health, produced in conjunction with Livability.


    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.


    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.


    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

    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

    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. 


    2018 - First Quarter Update

    New action