This year’s theme for the United Nations International Day of Older Persons on October 1st focusses on fulfilling the promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons.
In a society that is increasingly ageist towards those in later life, Faith in Later Life believes the Bible is clear that age and experience have value and purpose and that remedial action to engage and connect older people with others and with God is needed, to everyone’s benefit and to God’s glory. We further believe that churches are ideally positioned to drive change in societal narrative and in demonstrating practically the value and purpose of older people, and we hope that you’ll make the most of this day to celebrate older people in your church.
Salvation Army Resources
To help you with this we’re thrilled that the Salvation Army has developed the UN’s theme a little further with ‘I see you’ materials affirming that while older people are often ignored or marginalised in society, God sees and loves them.
The resource pack, available below, contains a Bible Study, ideas for a celebration, as well as a short sermon that could be used as part of an evangelistic event.
You can download the pack here:
Early Day Motion
As part of our work to raise the profile of the International Day of Older Persons, we have been afforded an opportunity to have an Early Day Motion in Parliament tabled by Jim Shannon MP. Jim is the Health Spokesperson for the DUP, sponsored our previous Parliamentary Reception and a huge supporter of the work of Faith in Later Life.
Jim has recorded us this video explaining why he is behind the work of Faith in Later Life as a Christian MP:
Early day motions (EDMs) are motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons for which no day has been fixed. This year, we are inviting all our Church Champions to write to their Member of Parliament to advise them of this Early Day Motion and inviting them to sign. Any MP is able to sign these motions. You must only write to your own MP and not to others.
When writing to MP’s, using the template below, please make sure you add your full postal address to enable your MP to act.
If you get any feedback from your MP, we would love to hear that; please email us: [email protected]
Thank you for your support.
Ageism is a serious issue in the UK today, and sadly, in many churches. In a report written in partnership with Faith in Later Life a few years ago, Keith Brown, wrote the following:
“Some of the isolation and loneliness which people in the Fourth Age experience is due to the ageism in our society and in our churches. It is now time for churches to stand-up to the prejudices and discrimination of older people, to challenge the ageism we see in society and show that people in the Fourth Age are valued, celebrated, respected and included. Churches and Christian faith organisations should be leading the way to reach out to older people, to tackle ageist views and attitudes and demonstrate that older people matter.”
— Keith Brown, Loneliness in Older People Report
We’d encourage you to read that report for yourself, and to check our the following resources:
A few years ago the Archbishops of Canterbury and York commissioned a group within the CofE to take a deeper look into the state of care in the UK, and how we as the church should respond. Their findings were both hard-hitting and encouraging, as well as giving us excellent ideas about how we might care for those in need, and challenge ageist views towards those in care.
To find out more, we’d encourage you to go and watch our recent Faith in Later Life Event with Bishop James Newcome, co-chair of the commission, as he shared the findings of the report.
To contact us, or to find out more, email us at [email protected]
Have a wonderful day celebrating older people!
You can access this resource via the link below: