New Future for Pastoral and Spiritual Care in Ageing


Over the past decade there has been an awakening of the need to recognise the place of spirituality in both the ageing and dying processes, together with the value of both specialist pastoral care and general spiritual care in supporting people as they age and approach the end of their life span.

Many organisations have sought to respond to this awakening. This has resulted in a plethora of spiritual and pastoral care programs and initiatives. At the same time some have struggled in their response, whilst others have yet to recognise the situation before them.

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The Seed Planted!

A search conference was held by the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies (CAPS) in August 2008. Delegates at a national conference were involved in a 24 hour “workshop” seeking practical directions for the provision of spiritual and pastoral care in the ageing community of Australia.

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Next Steps

Twenty five invited people attended a workshop held on 25 June 2009 in Melbourne convened by Ilsa Hampton, then at Baptcare. The aims were to clearly identify the goals of a pastoral care and ageing group, to identify links with other organisations and to set directions for the way forward.

It was agreed that an association be formed to support those who provide pastoral and spiritual care to older people.

A committee was formed to develop a Vision, Mission Statement and Objectives.


To promote and pursue excellence in the provision of pastoral and spiritual care for the benefit of older people, their families and their carers.

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Formation of PASCOP

With confirmation in March 2012 of the proposal by potential member organisations, CAPS appointed a Steering Committee which sought Sponsor Organisations to fund the establishment of PASCOP.

By September 2012 there were 22 Sponsor Organisations which had each pledged $8000 per annum for three years. Over the next months a constitution for PASCOP was developed and then agreed to by the Sponsor Organisations. PASCOP was incorporated in December 2012.

In early January 2013 Dave Petty commenced as the new Executive Officer of PASCOP.

On 5 February 2013 a meeting of Sponsor Organisations appointed an inaugural BOARD of PASCOP.

On 10 October 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding between PASCOP and CAPS was signed, affirming the relationship between the two organisations.

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