A York church is offering a warm welcome to people living with dementia and their carers.
St Luke’s, Burton Stone Lane introduced a monthly ‘Forget Me Not’ service earlier in 2017 and has become the first church to join York Dementia Action Alliance.
The short, easy-to-follow services were launched as a response to the difficulties facing those affected by dementia or memory loss in accessing the basics of a normal life.
“The format is basically one third church and two thirds chatting and coffee afterwards,” says Becky Allright, who is based at St Luke’s while training to be ordained, and formerly worked with the NHS in York commissioning services for mental health including dementia.
“Raising awareness and talking is really helpful.
“People who can find support to continue interests they’ve always enjoyed are more likely to live a ‘full’ life with dementia rather than focusing on the changes they’re experiencing.
“Some of the old fashioned hymns, prayers and liturgy, are great and help people get orientated to where they are and what we are doing. When it comes to the most popular hymns, we’ve found the livelier the better, with a good sing-up to send us out feeling positive!”
Encouraged by St Luke’s Vicar the Revd Jackie Doyle-Brett, the church community is involved in many aspects of the services including serving coffee, baking biscuits, publicity, leading worship, singing, prayer, talks, organising car parking, and handing out service sheets.
“The key components are a warm welcome, care and attention, clear communication and a good sense of humour,” adds Becky Allright.
People from across York are showing interest but at present travel is a limiting factor since many do not have the use of a car and are not able to use public transport.
- The next Forget-me-Not service is at St Luke’s Church, Burton Stone Lane, York at 11.00am on Saturday 29th July.
- All are welcome but please advise Becky Allright at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend so that your needs can be met.