Churches of Christ is the winner of the 2015 PASCOP Annual Quality in Pastoral and Spiritual Practice Awards.

The organisation, which cares for 1,800 aged care residents in Queensland and Victoria, won the award for its pilot dementia church service initiative.

The PASCOP Quality Practice Awards are Australia’s first national awards program dedicated to innovation and excellence in pastoral and spiritual care of older people. They recognise innovation and excellence in the spiritual care of older people.

Since 2014, around 42 per cent of residents living with dementia have attended weekly church services that are run from Churches of Christ’s aged care facilities in south east Queensland. There are plans to expand it to the organisation’s 15 other dementia specific units.

David Petty, Executive Director of PASCOP, congratulated Churches of Christ and Aged Care Chaplain, Wayne Crouch for introducing the pilot.

“The introduction of a church service has made a positive, tangible difference not only to the residents but also to the staff and volunteers,” said Mr Petty.

“The program highlights pastoral and spiritual care in practice for residents who are often seen as difficult to connect with.”

Churches of Christ receives $1,000 and the opportunity to present at a PASCOP Meaningful Ageing seminar and national conference.

Baptcare in Victoria was finalist in the annual awards for its Community Aged Care Chaplains program. The program has 45 pastoral visitors spending time with older people in their own homes.

The program reaches around 100 people a month, and has now been replicated by BaptistCare in New South Wales, ACT and Western Australia.

David Petty said the program had shown a marked difference for clients who were isolated, housebound, and on community aged care packages. Before the program started, only 20 clients in each region of Baptcare Victoria had access to pastoral care through its Chaplains.
The awards were announced on 26 August in Sydney at the Elizabeth MacKinlay Public Lecture.

Media inquiries: Penny Underwood on (03) 9818 8540 or mediawise@mediawise.net.au

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