The death and dying resource has been prepared in response to a request from the Methodist Council, following a short discussion at the Conference of 2015. While that related specifically to the Assisted Dying bill then before Parliament, the request from the Council was to “resource the Church better to respond to the needs of those requiring palliative care and understand the issues involved”. In parallel with this, 3Generate, the Methodist children and youth assembly, also requested more guidance on the topic of death and dying.

In conversation with Methodist chaplains working in fields including the health service, hospices, prisons and care homes, many further issues were raised, none of which can be adequately explored here. To give a few examples that might merit further work:

  • Grieving and ‘funerals’ for loved ones who are still alive but with change or loss of personality due to dementia
  • The rise in popularity of public ‘shrines’ where flowers and other memorabilia are left in memory of casualties of road accidents or other incidents, as well as online ‘tribute’ sites
  • The role of humour, and the role of art, music and poetry, in coming to terms with death
  • The death of pets and how this impacts on their owners.

This is intended as a flexible resource that can be developed further in the future and to which new links can easily be added. If you have suggestions for material or links to add to these pages, please email enquiries@methodistchurch.org.uk

Deacon Deborah Wilde, in her Personal view contribution, says: “The church needs to have a clear voice that affirms the life-long value of each human story whilst compassionately understanding the complexity and breadth of the journey”. These pages are offered as a small contribution towards that.