There are key issues that PSALM tries to address:
- The need for opportunities to think boldly and imaginatively about how to live well in later life.
- The need for confidence rooted in a mature faith as a source of resilience.
- The need for Churches to work hard to counter the traditional undervaluing of older people and seek to provide more engaging and enlivening opportunities for older people to reflect and contribute.
We have discovered the importance of conversation: Often we don’t know what we think until we hear ourselves speak with others. This means that the workshops that PSALM has designed always provide a good opportunity for conversation. Conversation is especially important for those who live alone. The focused conversations that take place during a PSALM event are frequently highlighted in evaluations as most enjoyable.
Themes matter: All the themes that PSALM explores have a particular relevance to the issue of ageing and are supported by well-designed group work and informed insight. Experience suggests that older people make the most of the opportunities to explore and share and draw on the resources of their faith. This means that without exception the courses and workshops offered here will be well received by those who take part. This success is due in large part to what participants bring to the events and the openness and mutuality that develop during the workshops.
Usually the events run from mid-morning to mid-afternoon although this is not hard and fast. It is possible to do something worthwhile in a shorter time span. As far as numbers, experience suggests that the events work for groups between 9 and 25 in number. It is not essential that those who participate are church-goers; however the themes and the discussions assume that participants take faith seriously and are prepared to think deeply about some of the challenging issues associated with growing old.