Good news in the community

Welcome to the November Faith in Later Life newsletter, and thank you for your continued interest and support, it is hugely appreciated. We hope you enjoy reading this update, and as ever, if there is any content you would like to see in our newsletters that is currently missing (or anything you would rather not see), do get in touch

Social prescribing & good news sharing

We have been aware of increasing interest amongst churches in opening some of their (outreach) activities to referrals from Health and Social Services, for older people who are lonely and need social contact.  One of the problems is that sometimes (not always) doctors and other secular service providers are reluctant to signpost directly to one church.

We were delighted, to learn that the Faith in Later Life Directory of Activities is being used as a denominationally neutral portal that NHS surgeries and others are prepared to recommend to and use with clients.

As part of her work in Chippenham, Pilgrims’ Friend Society Community Engagement Officer Ruth Ranger has been sharing Faith in Later Life with churches and church leaders, and they have received it favourably, uploading their activities for inclusion on the Faith in Later Life Activities Directory.  If you click here and search around SN15 1EX you will see what a powerful Christian witness to the people in Chippenham the churches have created –  40 regular activities within 2 miles of the town centre.

The Wiltshire CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group – Primary Care Team) have emailed their local GP practices to advise them of the activities directory and to give them the website link.  Following that, a number of GP surgeries have been happy to promote the Faith in Later Life Activities Directory in their GP Practices. The Chippenham branch of The Citizen’s Advice Bureau have also expressed a similar interest, and Wiltshire Social Services are also in the process of creating a hyperlink to the directory from their own website.  The local MP is appreciative of this work and the thinking behind it.

With lack of resources in respect of funding for adult social care, and a loneliness epidemic, local authorities as well as central government, are increasingly in favour of “Social Prescribing”, and Faith in Later Life is proving its worth in helping churches be accessible to these authorities.   Uploading activities/groups for older people which are run by your church is simple and straightforward – why not start now?

Dementia from the Inside – A doctor’s personal journey of hope

This could well be the single most important resource on dementia published this year.  Dr Jennifer Bute was a highly qualified Christian GP who was diagnosed with young onset dementia in 2009.   She regularly speaks at conferences, about her life, dementia, and the “glorious opportunity” she feels it is, and she is an inspiration. The aim of this practical book is to help people living with dementia and to give hope to those who are with them on the dementia journey.   Recommendations include “The observant physician shines through, while the practical advice reveals the resourcefulness of an inventor” -Professor Peter Garrard; “It is an inspired and inspiring book” -Canon Paul Harris; “It delivers exceptional insight and practical instruction and presents a wakeup call to radical Christian rethinking” -Professor Cameron Swift. Click here to go to our website from where you can click through to purchase a copy.

Dr Bute will also be speaking at the Pilgrim’s Friend Society “Firm Foundations for Later Life” annual conference on 11 May 2019.  Click here for more information.

Latest News

This month I had the opportunity to lead a seminar on “how to reach out to older people”, at the Jubilee Plus annual conference, entitled “churches that change communities”. It was an excellent and informative day, and brilliant to be able to raise the profile of the work of Faith in Later Life in seeking to inspire and equip churches. If you would like to listen to the “how to reach out to older people” session you can do so via this link on our website.

Prayer requests

We are in the process of agreeing plans for the next two financial years, and also identifying funding. This is a critical stage for Faith in Later Life as we seek to establish the initiative as an independent charity in 2019, expand our network of “Church Champions”, and grow our plans to support churches in their ministries with older people. Please pray for this planning, for wisdom for all concerned, and for sufficient funds to be committed. If you would like to know more about this then please do get in touch with me.


Yours in Christ,

Carl Knightly

Director, Faith in Later Life