Creating Dementia-Friendly Churches at the heart of Dementia-Friendly Communities

Many people in our community are living with dementia, and we believe that churches can be a great place of support.

Sarah Thorpe - works for TCT as the Diocese of Lichfield Dementia-Friendly Churches Enabler

She supports churches that are working to become more dementia-friendly churches at the heart of dementia friendly communities. You can read more about our approach here.


I wonder if you’ve been affected by dementia or memory loss. Perhaps someone in your family or someone you know locally is living with dementia or experiencing memory loss. You may want to understand more, or to talk to someone about dementia. There’s a local network of dementia-friendly churches at the heart of dementia-friendly communities.

Or you might be interested to receive a Dementia-Friendly Churches Newsletter or to come to a Dementia-Friendly Churches Network meeting, to share ideas and encouragement. If so, you are welcome to get in touch with Sarah Thorpe, the Diocese of Lichfield Dementia-Friendly Churches Enabler, on 0798 224 8949 or

Why not come along to an on-line “Dementia-Friendly Church Introduction” session? Contact Sarah for more information.

Premier on Demand

Sarah Thorpe worked with Pam Rhodes on her 'Sunday Night Live Faith In Later Life' show, sharing tips on how to make your church ‘Dementia Friendly’


We’ve now been working on dementia-friendly churches since 2013 in the Diocese of Lichfield. In that time we have:

  • Held 100+ Dementia Friends Sunday services
  • Created 4,000+ Dementia Friends
  • Run 30+ Dementia-Friendly Churches courses, which have been attended by over 400 participants

Dementia Friendly Churches video

This video is one of four case-studies sponsored by Staffordshire University looking at the growth of Dementia-friendly Churches in the UK.

Moving forwards

As a a new development, we are widening the team of people in Lichfield Diocese who can lead our four-session “Dementia-Friendly Churches” courses or use bite-sized snippets of learning from them and (provided you are already a Dementia Friends Champion) lead Dementia Friends Sunday services: we’ve brought the material together in a way that allows us to share it with a wider team.

A Prayer for people affected by dementia

The impact of the pandemic on people with dementia and those who care for them in this pandemic is huge. "Remembering" may become harder, with increasing forgetfulness, as dementia progresses: "re-membering" also speaks of putting back together again, the opposite of dis-membering.

Thanks to Rev. Chris Thorpe for the prayer, which is offered for the work of dementia-friendly churches at the heart of dementia-friendly communities and for everyone affected by dementia:

When memory slips and fades;

when faces, events,

and the rush of life

threaten to overwhelm us;

be our still centre.

Jesus, remember me,

when you come into your kingdom.

In caring, when we are unsure what to do,
when we are at full stretch and beyond,

help us to cross the bridge

from facts to feelings,

from head to heart,

to meet one another with love.

Jesus, remember me,

when you come into your kingdom.

Page Published 3rd May 2019 | Updated 14th July 2022

We are committed to support our churches:

  • As they embark on initial engagement as dementia-friendly churches;
  • As they continue to embed dementia-friendly church at the heart of their ministry;
  • As they extend their connections, working with local and national partners, accessing a wide range of resources.