Welcoming Older People

A Guide for Parishes

Our Guide for parishes on learning from and caring for older people is available on request.

To obtain a PDF version of this pack simply email us at:


This Guide is free and contains practical ideas and case studies to support church communities in valuing older people and benefiting from their gifts.

The 88-page Guide is divided into sections, each suggesting 3 or 4 ideas for “What your parish can do”, covering the 8 topics listed below. A ring bound printed copy is also available for a donation for postage. For parishes or groups in the Leeds Diocese, printed Guides are free. To find out more, please get in touch. 

NOTE: We are also working on making this content available on pages on this site – just click on any clickable titles below to go to the relevant page:

  1. Older People and Your Parishlots of ideas and resources for how to get going or improve how you involve and support older people in your parish
  2. Vocation in later life, considering how we use our God given gifts and talents when we retire from paid work: in our work, family life, church and community.
  3. Growing a dementia friendly parish, exploring how a parish community can be more inclusive by increasing understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia, and considering how it is possible even for loving church communities to get it wrong in spite of the best intentions.
  4. Being mortal, reflecting on the important role parishes can play in helping people live fully and ‘pack for the final journey’ so we understand what it means to die well.
  5. Bereavement and loss, looking at how we can support each other in the losses we may face at any age, and also in the ‘little deaths of life’ such as loss of independence and mobility that people may experience in later life.
  6. Tackling loneliness, reflecting on how parishes can be “little places of belonging” to counter the growing ‘chronic loneliness’ that is, according to the Campaign to End Loneliness, as bad for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and increases the chances of developing dementia by 64 per cent.
  7. Caring for carers, suggesting ways parish life can support people in what is often a physically and emotionally demanding role and highlighting that 3 in 5 of us will be carers at some point in our life (Carers UK Policy Briefing 2015).
  8. Helpful Contacts.


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