Circuit Mission Project 2016/2017

The Circuit meeting has decided that we should support Methodist Homes work with people suffering from dementia. The project has several new features compared to previous years, although raising money will remain at the heart of what we aim to do; the Circuit continues to look to local churches to do what they can to raise funds. However this year we are not focusing on one specific place as we did with Open Doors in Hull or Stockton Hope on Teeside. Methodist homes supports people with dementia in many of their homes in various ways including through music therapy. The money we raise will support this work.

Dementia is being more widely recognised as a condition affecting more people particularly as we grow older. Many in the Circuit have experience of the profound impact it can have, including on the family. Nationally the population is aging and the Church has an older demographic than society in general, which suggests all congregations need to be aware of the impact of dementia on the patient, their carers and congregations. Because of this the Project will seek to raise our awareness of the different aspects of the illness, how we can support carers as well as the patient, and what steps we should take to make our churches ‘dementia friendly’. As part of our mission we shall also look beyond the church to see what part we can play in making our communities similarly ‘dementia friendly’.

The project was launched at our Circuit service on September 11th at Northallerton. Methodist Homes helped in leading the service and will continue to play a full part throughout the year, giving us all the help they can. After the service there was an opportunity to share in a ‘taster session’ to help identify the particular issues we wanted to look at during the year.

One final and very welcome innovation this year is we are being joined by Zion URC in Northallerton. Zion has made donations to both our previous ‘home projects’, but this time they will be fully involved in the awareness raising aspects. We are delighted at this development and look forward to learning together.