CHURCHGOERS have found the purr-fect way to support those living with dementia, as they have donated a life-like ‘dementia Friendly Cat’ to Chirk Court care home.

St Mary’s Church, and the Offa Mission Area to which St Mary’s belongs, were recipients of a grant from Bangor University as part of an initiative to develop dementia friendly churches in the dioceses of Bangor and St Asaph.

Members of St Mary’s decided to build on the strong links it already has both with the Chirk Court Care Home and Chirk Hospital which also supports people with dementia.

After asking for the advice of both, jigsaws were donated to the hospital and the battery-operated pet cat introduced to new owners at the care home.

“The congregation at St Mary’s Church are helping the town to embrace the opportunity to be a dementia friendly community. The battery-operated cat is incredibly lifelike and ‘breathes’ in a really soothing way,” said Lisa Johnson, who manages the Clwyd Alyn Housing Association care home.

“It was lovely to welcome Rev Matthew Wilkinson, the vicar of St Mary’s, to join some to the residents for a cuppa at Chirk Court, we really appreciate the church’s support,” said Lisa who added that as well as their new feline friend, St Mary’s also donated a ‘Pictures to Share’ DVD depicting childhood photos and music.

The Offa Mission Area has also provided churches with boxes containing materials that can be used by individuals with dementia, their families, and pastoral visitors.

“This is a really creative initiative that is making a real difference and also helps raise awareness about supporting those living with dementia or caring for a loved one affected,” added Lisa.