First dementia friendly service at Leeds church

What is believed to be the first dementia friendly church services in west Leeds area is set to take place in Pudsey next week.

Father Nicholas Clews
Father Nicholas Clews

St James The Great Church at Woodhall, Pudsey, will be holding the interactive service for people with dementia at 10am on Wednesday January 11.

Instead of using books, 
vicar of St James the Great, 
Father Nicholas Clews, will 
be asking the congregation to repeat short phrases.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The unique service will include traditional hymns sung to older tunes, a familiar bible reading and an interactive sermon. And a group from 
the congregation will be acting as ‘buddies’ with a view to working one-to-one with each person with dementia so that carers can enjoy the service too.

St James has worked with a Dementia Alliance representative to ensure the church building is suitable.

Church warden Sally Firth, said: “St James’ understands that it may well be the first church in the Bradford area of Leeds Diocese to become dementia friendly and the congregation are keen to offer this service.

“Some of our congregation have the early stages of dementia and we felt that there was a gap in provision for this type of service aimed at people with dementia.

“These types of services have been conducted in Wakefield area but not in west Leeds.

“The service has got to be traditional and ideally using pews rather than chairs so 
it will be what people remember from when they were younger.

“I have been contacting all the nursing homes in the area and the other churches.

“If it works we will probably do it every three months.”