May we be blessed with the promise of rebirth wherever we are and whoever we may be.
May the birds carol and rejoice that we are all alive under one sky
May our spirits unfurl like a sunflower following the arc of light
And may we all feel the blessing of this good earth And rejoice in the good news of this Easter and a Joyful Springtime.
(adapted from an Irish blessing)
After a long wet and windy Winter, what a joy it is to see the world around us coming back to life with spring flowers, fresh buds, blossoms, birds singing their hearts out, new born lambs. All these wonderful signs of life continually renewed.
At Growing Old Grace-fully we have been thinking and praying about where we need to focus our efforts in the coming year – a renewal of our approach. We have asked the questions “What is the difference we want to make in the Diocese?” and “What are the changes we would like to see in the parishes relating to older people and later life by 2018?”
Our purpose has not changed. We will continue to seek to raise awareness of the spiritual and practical needs of older people, and their contribution to our communities across the Diocese of Leeds. We want to focus more of our efforts on inspiring and supporting practical actions within the parishes by:
- Sharing best practice through our website www.growingoldgracefully.org.uk
- Helping create local solutions to local needs
- Offering information, support and advice to parishes
- Encouraging dementia-friendly parishes.
The spiritual needs of people with dementia, and their carers, is often overlooked. To be a dementia-friendly parish is to find ways to include people with dementia so that they are helped to experience life in all its fullness. Rachel Walker, our project worker, is a Dementia Champion and is leading a number of short sessions on Becoming a Dementia-Friendly Parish at:
- St Joseph’s, Pudsey Monday 18th April, 7.30pm-8.30pm
- St Walburga’s, Shipley Tuesday 19th April, 7.45pm-8.45pm
- Corpus Christi, Leeds 9 Wednesday 18th May, 7.00pm-8.00pm
To understand how your parish can work towards becoming dementia-friendly, or to discuss other ways of valuing and supporting people in later life, please call Rachel on (07702) 255142 or email email@example.com .
God does not value people according to their memory and skills but loves each one of us unconditionally. The work of Growing Old Grace-fully aims to help the Church to be aware of the effects of mental and physical diminishment on older members, but also to cherish the blessings of ageing… the potential and the joys. Fr Ralph Woodall SJ writes:
“The task and privilege of older people is to gather, appreciate more deeply and treasure the hints of God’s presence that they have known and generously to share the wisdom that they have received as gift from God.
It may be that the wisdom is still implicit: they have not quite appreciated how important have been those occasions in their lives where they have helped others or been helped by others.
Older members of the community should have no need to be independent; they can help others to realise how inter-dependence is part of God’s plan for our lives, for building his kingdom.
This can make older people very precious in the Christian community.”
Warmest thanks for your interest in and support of our work across the Diocese.
Pippa Bonner, Trustee Carol Burns, Trustee Anne Forbes, Trustee
Paul Grafton, Chair Cath Mahoney, Trustee Mgr Peter Rosser, Trustee
Rachel Walker, Project Worker Ann West, Trustee