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15 June 2015              

LET’S TALK - Faith in Older People in collaboration with the Church of Scotland Guild, Edinburgh University Chaplaincy and Good Life; Good Death; Good Grief

Venue:   Edinburgh University Chaplaincy


Civic café discussion on end of life issues

Cost: £45.00 including lunch


10.00        Arrive - tea and coffee

10.30        Introductions

Iain Whyte, Church of Scotland Guild

Maureen O'Neill, Faith in Older People

10.45        Mark Hazelwood – Scottish Palliative Care Association

               ‘Can you solve a problem without talking about it’

11.00        Break into small groups (6-8 maximum)

12.15        Feedback one critical idea/issue from each group

12.30         LUNCH

13.30        Rev Dr Harriet Harris- Edinburgh University Chaplaincy

13.45        Break into small groups

15.00        Write up individual and group ideas for us to take away and write up 

15.15        Closing remarks

Maureen O’Neill and Iain Whyte

The Workshop

The format is intended to allow participants to work in small groups to discuss a range of issues.  Each table will have a facilitator and participants can move table if they so wish.  We will keep a note of the key issues raised so that they can be used to influence policy and practice for the future.

The Speakers

Mark Hazelwood, Chief Executive of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care

Rev Dr Harriet Harris, University Chaplain and Head of the Chaplaincy Service

Iain Whyte, General Secretary, Church of Scotland Guild

Maureen O’Neill, Director of Faith in Older People


29 June 2015              

RISK AND RESILIENCE - One day workshop

Venue: St Augustine’s, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh


This event will explore how older people are able to keep their wellbeing buoyant as they face losses and changes in                 their circumstances.

Cost: £45.00 including lunch


10.00              Arrive and Coffee

10.30              Welcome and introduction to the day

                   Maureen O’Neill, Director, Faith in Older People

10.40              'Hands off! It's my risk, not yours!'

Professor Charlotte Clarke,

School of Health and Social Science, Edinburgh University

11.10              COFFEE

11.40              ‘Habits of Resilience’

                        Rev. Dr. Harriet Harris

                   Chaplain, Edinburgh University                     

12.20              Discussion and reflection

12.45              LUNCH

1.30                Workshops

Working in small groups we aim to identify and share good practice examples from your own experiences, and apply the concepts of risk and resilience to the inner growth of people as they age.

We will be able to ask ourselves questions about how we can better facilitate the wellbeing of people as they age and identify some things which support us to achieve this. It will be fun! We will use some novel gaming approaches to help us explore these issues - taking snakes and ladders to places it has never reached before!

2.45                Feedback and ideas for future action

3.30                Depart

 The Speakers

Professor Charlotte Clarke, Head of the School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh

Revd Dr Harriet Harris, University Chaplain and Head of Chaplaincy Service, University of Edinburgh



22 October 2015         



Speaker: Professor Sir Harry Burns

Venue:   Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor,

Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh

Lecture - The causes of wellness throughout life

Cost: £16.00 including wine reception


For further information on any of the above events, please contact Mary Wilkinson



Click here to download a free copy of KEEPING IN TOUCH - continuing the link between faith groups and care homes

For further information on women's day celebration - Edinburgh Women's Interfaith Group (EWIG - International Women's Day 2015): welcoming women of all faiths or none, click here


Who we are

Faith in Older People (FiOP) is a Scottish National Charity based in Edinburgh.  Its focus is on ’spirituality and ageing’.  We define spirituality as ‘that which gives meaning and purpose to our lives’

Research and practical action has evidenced that the spiritual dimension is of great importance as we age.  This is a time when we come to terms with issues that matter towards the end of our lives. It guides the achievement of person-centred care by understanding the inner person and their values, and to take this as the starting point for caring practice.

What we do


Enabling a better understanding of the importance of the spiritual dimension to the well-being of older people

Our Aims

  • to educate, encourage and support volunteers, health and social care workers, members of faith communities and other agencies to increase their understanding of spiritual care and issues around ageing.

  • to deliver events, courses and materials to meet identified need.

  • to continue to build the capacity and efficiency of the organisation.


The concept of spirituality is difficult to understand although there is an increasing acknowledgement that it plays an important part in our lives.  There are two approaches to the definition of spirituality; both acknowledge a search for meaning.  For some people a divine presence is central; for others spirituality is a secular concept involving inner life and personal belief.

Five ways of thinking about spirituality as:

  • part of a religious belief
  • a secular concept
  • a metaphor for absence
  • a search for meaning with or without God
  • the deepest values and meanings by which people seek to live

For a fuller explanation please go to the publication ‘Insights’ – spirituality and ageing:  implications for the care and support of older people’ published by IRISS, written by Dr. Harriet Mowat and Maureen O’Neill