Growing Old Grace-fully, the small charity focused on supporting Later Life Friendly Parishes, has launched a Guide to Parishes on learning from and caring for older people.
The Right Reverend Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds, says in his Foreword, “This Guide is offering practical suggestions and real examples of how parishes in our diocese and beyond are exploring how we can learn from and care for older people. I wholeheartedly support the vision and recommendations contained in this guide. I hope you will use it to consider how older people’s gifts, wisdom, experience and prayers can help all of us to appreciate the precious gift of life and live that life fully with God’s grace.”
The Guide, Welcoming Older People – ideas for and from parishes, offers a wealth of spiritual and practical ideas to support church communities in valuing older people and benefiting from their gifts and is available to download here .
People from all over our Diocese and beyond joined together to explore together the content of Welcoming Older People: ideas for and from parishes at an evening launch reception at Leeds Church Institute on 4th May. Rachel Walker, Growing Old Grace-fully’s Co-ordinator, said “We are delighted that parishioners and religious from across the Diocese joined us in launching this invaluable resource for Christians of all denominations, along with a number of representatives from a wide range of organisations including Catholic Care, St Vincent De Paul Society, Christians on Ageing, Methodist Homes (MHA), Faith in Elderly People and Leeds Older People’s Forum.”
The evening included a short multiple-choice Quiz to help open the discussion to consider God’s gift of age, “the greatest triumph and challenge of the 21st century” (WHO 2002), and to reflect on how we are all responding to that challenge as part of the Church’s mission.
All who attended took a copy of the pack back to their parishes or organisations with an invitation to arrange a short session in their own community, led by Growing Old Grace-fully in partnership with Catholic Care, to support the valuing of older people and benefiting from their gifts.
The pack can be downloaded at www.growingoldgracefully.org.uk . To arrange a short session in your own parish or church community and receive copies of the pack, call Rachel on 077 0225 5142 or email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org .