Dementia-Friendly Church

We want our churches to be places where people living with dementia are welcomed, understood, respected, supported and confident that they can contribute to church and community life.

670,000 people are now caring for a loved one with dementia, and we want our churches, buildings and communities to be places where both they, and the ones that they are caring for, are welcome. 

On this page, you can find: 
our commitment to a Dementia friendly Diocese
a link to the 'Churches Together resource pack'
a how-to on the Dementia friendly Church certification process

We are aware that there may well be barriers - visible or invisible - that keep people away from our churches, but we also know that there are numerous churches around our region which have innovative and compassionate approaches to including and supporting people living with dementia.

We also recognise that although there are good reasons for churches taking different approaches to supporting people living with dementia, there are also some common key steps to becoming more dementia-friendly. That's why we want to make it as easy as possible to access the support you need to become more a dementia friendly Church. 

Our commitment to becoming dementia friendly, includes an in-house role of Dementia and Older Persons Mental Health Advisor:

     Leanne Parkes
     Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health Adviser
     Phone: 0117 9060100

Resource pack

Churches Together in Bristol has created a resource pack, which aims to bring together a variety of tools and information that may be of use in helping churches to become more dementia friendly.

Within the pack you will find:

  • A self-review toolkit designed to help church reflect on how dementia-friendly they are and what areas of church life they might develop in order to become more so;
  • A brief summary sheet about signs of dementia and how to respond to them designed to work as a quick reference point for people;
  • A list of both regional and national contacts of organisations and resources concerned with promoting dementia friendly churches;
  • A Dementia Action Alliance Membership form for those who would like to become aware and link up with similar initiatives addressing the needs of those living with dementia.

Download the resource pack

The pack was compiled by a small group of people working under the Churches Together in Greater Bristol (CTGB) umbrella, including the Diocesan Disability Adviser Alice Kemp, with the aim to ensure that every denomination has a person who will champion the cause of dementia within their own churches and also to facilitate learning from each others experience.  churches together in greater bristol logo

Dementia friendly Church certification process

The Diocese of Bristol has been working to take action on dementia through our Dementia Friendly Churches Network since 2017. Our focus is on improving inclusion and quality of life for people with dementia. Learning from the Diocese of Lichfield we are launching a Diocese of Bristol Dementia Friendly Church Certificate. 

The Transforming Church. Together strategy in the Diocese of Bristol seeks to build church that has a culture of inclusion, collaboration and partnership working. Your commitment to take action will help create dementia friendly churches. 

To be able to display the certificate and use the Becoming Dementia Friendly Churches logo churches need to do the following: 

  • agree an action plan detailing three actions they will take in the next 12 months that will enable them to work towards becoming a dementia friendly church 
  • the actions need to be specific, realistic and achievable, they can be small steps forward 
  • get the action plan approved by the Vicar or equivalent; or PCC; or another appropriate responsible body 
  • specify a contact person who is your dementia friendly churches contact who will be contacted to review the action plan 
  • the action plan can be for an individual church or a group of churches 

We will issue a Certificate and authorise the use of our 'Becoming Dementia Friendly Church' logo, when churches agree their three-point Action Plan for the year ahead. 

Contact Leanne for support with your application Download the Dementia Friendly Church Certificate 

Find Dementia support and resources 

There are a number of UK charities to help those who have been diagnosed with dementia and alzheimer’s, their family and their carers. 

Get support and resources

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