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  • Debbie Ducille

‘Culture Club’ up and running

On 8 March, we told you about Christians on Ageing’s new online discussion forum about the depiction of the lives of older people in television and radio drama, films and works of fiction – Culture Club.

Trustee Marion Shoard writes…

Our 8 March Culture Club meeting prompted a lively, sometimes serious, often light-hearted discussion via Zoom on the theme of intergenerational relationships and the way in which the arts have explored them. Attendees considered why a life-transforming relationship between an older person and a child outside the family crops up so often, from recent cartoons such as Up to classics including Silas Marner. Today, child safety concerns view such relationships with suspicion; at what cost, we wondered, to both child and elder?

We wondered whether there is something special about the relationship between grandparent and grandchild not shared with the middle generation, as well as the ways in which grandparenting has changed (some attendees recalled grandmothers in the 1950s with forbidding veils and hat pins, looking far older than their counterparts today). And what of the nature of intergenerational division in society today: just what do young people think of the baby-boomer generation?

Next time, on Friday 10 May, between 1.30–3.00 pm, Culture Club’s theme will be life in a care home – an environment very familiar to Anna Chaplains. We suggest attendees read online information and perhaps watch films suggested on the Christians on Ageing website, such as The Great Escaper (2023, starring Michael Caine) and Away From Her (2006, starring Julie Christie) beforehand, but it’s certainly not essential to do so. Indeed, you may well wish to draw attention to other films, TV and radio programmes and works of fiction about daily life in care homes, as well as reflect on their own perception of care-home life. The film editor at The Guardian, Catherine Shoard, will be joining us for this meeting.

If you’d like to take part in this or any other Culture Club meetings in 2024, email Barbara Stephens, Christians on Ageing’s honorary secretary, at



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