On Sunday October 15th we had a dementia friendly service led by Revd Dr Albert Jewell and Revd Gaynor Hammond. Gaynor explained that the service was going to be shorter with shortened readings and well known hymns. Among their hymn choices were ‘This little light of mine’ and ‘Shine Jesus Shine.’ Her call to worship was Psalm 27v1 ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?’ She said that the subject was going to be light and she had brought a torch and she read a passage from Matthew 5.14-16 about putting a lamp on the stand so a room can be lit up. She explained she had no memory of war time blackouts as she was too young, but remembered when there were the power cuts in the early 70’s because of the 3 day week. I too remember it clearly as I spent my evenings at university working by candlelight. I was born in a country vicarage and we did not have electricity fitted until I was 3, so it must have been hard for my mother. I know we have to find candles if there is a sudden power cut when we are not expecting it. Not so long ago the electricity was switched off for about an hour of a half without any warning. Later we found out it was a planned outage and it would have made more sense to have warned us. My son in law Ken found that out for us, as he still had access to the internet. We need to shine our light for Jesus in the world, as Gaynor said, shining the torch for us.
Albert led the prayers of thanksgiving, but before praying he asked us members of the congregation to suggest things we wanted to thank for. We felt as though we were involved with the prayers. We sang hymns in between the readings and talks. Gaynor reminded us that Jesus had said he was the light of the world. She gave us each a tea light to take home with us. Albert led the prayers of intercession after having asked for our contribution of prayer topics. After the 40 minute service we moved to tables and we were served with tea or coffee and biscuits. We talked about ourselves and memories of our childhood; it was good to focus on the service and people’s reactions, even though at present we have no regular member of our congregation who is a dementia sufferer. It was an interesting experience and informative for my future preaching.