• Debbie Thrower

Valuing older people - new guidance

Updated: Oct 1

A first-class resource for everyone involved in ministry among older people has just been published by the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work (NCPQSW) and Professional Practice, in partnership with Faith in Later Life. The NCPQSW is led by Professor Keith Brown, the leading expert in his field, and who is a Christian.

This guidance considers 'a range of issues facing older people and challenges churches and Christian faith organisations to do the same. Those living in the fourth age are not a homogeneous group; to start with, they represent people from different generations, with different life experiences, a range of health issues and different social situations. They are also at different stages of a faith journey. Many will have been to Sunday school as children; many will have been married in church. Some will have been life-time Christians and be regular church attenders, some will now only go to church for ceremonies and others will not want to step foot into a church again. The diversity of the fourth age provides great opportunity for churches and Christian faith organisations; this guidance gives some ideas to churches for different ministries, outreach and mission among older people.'

Anna Chaplaincy and the Anna Chaplaincy Handbook are mentioned at key points in the 56 page guidance co-authored by Professor Keith Brown, and Karen Grimshaw, Independent Nurse Consultant and Visiting Fellow of NCPQSW at Bournemouth University. Karen attended the Cliff College course Julia Burton-Jones and I led earlier this year on Ministry among Older People – the Anna Chaplaincy approach.

Karen Grimshaw, Cliff College, February 2020

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