Dementia-friendly carol service at Cathedral

By Peter Heneghan

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP will lead the first ever Dementia Friendly Carol Service in Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on Wednesday 14 December at 2pm.
 
The Archdiocese of Liverpool became aware of the needs of people living with dementia through parish visiting and began to run dementia awareness sessions in collaboration with the Alzheimer's Society in many different parishes and other venues. As part of this journey the 'Songs we Remember' Dementia Friendly Choir initiative came into being and now the choir of 45 people rehearses fortnightly at St Thomas of Canterbury church hall in Waterloo, where the archdiocesan Irenaeus spirituality project is based.
 
All parishes within the archdiocese received an invitation to send people to join the choir and were also encouraged to invite all the care homes in their area to bring their residents to the carol service. Rehearsals for the service are proving to be animated and lively, with everyone playing their part.
 
Students from St Teresa of Lisieux Primary School, Norris Green, English Martyrs Primary School, Litherland and Great Crosby Primary School will be participating in the service alongside the 'Songs we Remember' choir. English Martyrs will also be presenting a nativity tableau.
 
Maureen Knight, who chairs the archdiocesan dementia working group, said: "The response from care homes has been amazing. They are so pleased we are providing this service and we're looking forward to seeing the cathedral filled with people."
 
The Carol Service is open to all, especially those living with dementia, supporting someone living with dementia, or anyone of any age who just enjoys singing carols. No tickets are required.
 
The service is not just a one-off event for the choir, however, and other events are being arranged in care homes and other venues in the coming months as part of the ongoing work of supporting people living with dementia in the archdiocese.