BRF is launching a ground-breaking course to help any church or group seeking to develop its ministry to older people.
The Spiritual Care Series offers tried-and-tested training designed to give churches and carers the confidence, understanding and skills to provide effective holistic care to all those in their care, whether of strong faith, non-traditional faith or no faith.
Developed in Australia, the Spiritual Care Series is now also well established in Canada. Two leading practitioners in the field of spiritual care for older people in the UK, Professor John Swinton of the University of Aberdeen and Harriet Mowat, a Newcastle-based researcher in chaplaincy and spiritual care, have been involved in its creation.
The Anna Chaplaincy team at BRF have trialled the course and is convinced of its value. Anna Chaplaincy pioneer, Debbie Thrower, says it’s “an ideal resource for churches, groups of churches and other organisations, who want to equip their members to offer good spiritual care to older people in the church, in the community or in care homes.”
BRF’s Head of Marketing and Communications, Karen Laister, says the course would work well for local Churches Together groups as well as denominational networks at local or regional level.
Consisting of eight two-hour sessions with video material to introduce each topic and provoke discussion, the course covers a range of essential skills, and uses a mixture of learning styles. It can be run in person or entirely online, and a certificate is awarded to participants on successful completion.
Maureen O’Neill, Director of the independent Edinburgh-based charity Faith in Older People, has been involved in a pilot group: “What’s really good is the range of resources,” she says. “You have things to read, things to respond to and, as part of the videos, round table discussions with John Swinton which are very effective. The course doesn’t use overly academic language, which I think is really important if you’re going to get spiritual care out to a wider audience.”
Invitation to the launch
BRF is hosting an online launch of the Spiritual Care Series at 2pm on Wednesday 21 September 2022. Professor John Swinton will give an address and Debbie Thrower and Julia Burton-Jones from Anna Chaplaincy will also speak.
The Spiritual Care Series comes as a package for two facilitators and six participants. The cost is £60 per participant.