Janice Langley from the Adur Dementia Friendly Community Group visited the church recently to present a certificate which recognises the church has taken significant steps toward welcoming those with dementia.
The Associate Vicar of The Good Shepherd, Jane Bartlett explains the steps the church took.
She said, “The Good Shepherd has recently joined the Inclusive Church network, and this is part of our vision to be a church that welcomes all and does not discriminate.
“People living with dementia progressively lose their mental abilities but still have spiritual needs. As do the friends and family who support them.
“To attain the award we made all our signage very clear, ensured we did not have black mats by doors or shiny floors which are confusing to many living with Dementia.
“Our PCC will ensure that the needs of those with dementia will be considered in future decisions.
“We held a very successful awareness session earlier this year, and there was a lot of interest in our information stand in the Church hall at coffee time after the 10am Eucharist. One couple visiting from Gloucestershire took back information, hoping to make their church Dementia Friendly.
“Southwick Methodist church and Shoreham Free church have also been recognised as Dementia Friendly but COGS are the first Anglican church in Adur to receive this certificate.”
Sheila Powell is the Church of the Good Shepherd’s Dementia representative. She added, “We still have much to learn about how to accommodate people with dementia, but this is a good start.
“We will continue to offer a warm welcome to all and we hope others in the Diocese will follow suit”
Pictured: Sheila Powell (left with Janice and Andrew Bennison, the Vicar for Shoreham churches, St Mary de Haura and Church of the Good Shepherd.