Elderly woman's handsChurch changed for those in care

Loving your community may mean doing things differently, as a church in Cheshire discovered…

High Street Church Malpas is sharing God’s love with neighbours – and it’s led to them rethinking their services. The church works with Prospect House care home, which has 65 permanent residents, from age 70 to over 100. Church Secretary Kathryn Cutts explains what happened, “A couple of years ago a church member brought her mother, and some other residents, to morning worship. After a few weeks more people came, with one of the staff. 

“It’s grown and we now get between 6 - 12 people. Most have been to church as a child and really look forward to coming. A high proportion have dementia or mobility problems so we had to think carefully about our joint services with the Anglican church, and we decided instead to go into Prospect House and hold simple special services. When we do this, the room is full to capacity with many more residents attending. We have a carol service, Remembrance service and Easter service – usually readings, well known hymns and a prayer.“

Reflecting and adapting

Kathryn added, “This fantastic contact has made us reflect on our worship. We’ve installed video projection so they can see the hymns and readings on the screen, as they found books too difficult, and have renewed our sound system. We also found that children's stories and video clips or images are well received. We’re thinking about the format of services, as the times when we’ve had a split sermon, or a message through a story, has had them hooked - as well as the members of the congregation who are not from the home!”

Other outreach

• At Christmas our church toddler group - Cheeky Monkeys - also involved some of the residents with Santa’s letters. We’re hoping to build on these initial links.

• Some church members also sing at Prospect House as part of Forget Me Not singers.