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Responding pastorally to the ageing population: with a proposed training programme for clergy and lay pastoral workers

Barrett-Lennard, Julie (2006) Responding pastorally to the ageing population: with a proposed training programme for clergy and lay pastoral workers. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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The increased longevity in contemporary western society is impacting on many service and caring organisations in that they are needing to find ways of responding to the increasing number of older persons who need support. The Church is not immune from this as statistics demonstrate that the age demographic within the Church is rapidly changing to include many more older persons. However, evidence is strong that the Church to date has not been as alert as it could have been to the implications of the ageing population, nor has it been awake to the potential available within adult ministry. Therefore scholars and gerontologists are strident in their attempts to wake the Church from its slumber with respect to responding to the ageing population.

The impetus of this research was to determine how alert the Anglican Diocese of Perth is to this rapidly increasing age demographic, and how well equipped its clergy and lay pastoral workers are to respond to the increasing number of older persons both within the Church and within society. To achieve this, a survey was conducted amongst a selection of clergy and lay pastoral workers in the Diocese of Perth. As part of the survey, comments were sought from participants on how important they believed training in ministry to older persons was for them, and what factors would enable and encourage them to attend training in this area.

The literature reviewed for this research, the survey results, and the ensuing discussion combine to underline the need for ministry to older persons to be taken seriously by the Church. As a way of stimulating interest, and equipping clergy and lay pastoral workers, in the area of pastoral care of older persons, this thesis provides the structure of a training programme that it is envisaged will be offered to the Anglican Diocese of Perth.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor(s): Ault, Nancy
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