Church of England joins Dying Matters Coalition

9 February 2010
The Church of England has joined nearly 7000 organisations in the national Dying Matters Coalition. Led by the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC), working closely with the Department of Health (DH) and other key stakeholders, the coalition aims to promote public awareness around death, dying and bereavement.

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Tom Butler, deputy chair of the Archbishops' Council's Mission and Public Affairs Council, said: “I welcome the Dying Matters initiative as an important contribution to the debate about dying and death. The advances in palliative and end of life care have been helpful in improving the quality of life of those who are dying and their families, and I hope that this new coalition will bring help and information to many people.”

Mayur Lakhani, Chair of the Dying Matters Coalition said: “We are delighted that the Church of England has joined the Dying Matters coalition. For too long, issues of death and bereavement have been perceived as too big or scary to talk about; the resulting silence has resulted in isolation and confusion among dying people and their families. Openness, conversation and communication are vital in addressing this.

“Dying Matters has over over a thousand members, including community groups, healthcare bodies, private individuals and groups representing a range of faiths. The Church of England’s voice is welcome in a conversation that should continue across all sections of our society”.

The overall mission of the coalition is to make a ‘good death’ a normal expectation, and for dying, death and bereavement to be accepted as a natural part of everybody’s life cycle. An agreed programme of planned collective action is to be formulated by the coalition to ensure that progress is made as a key part of the implementation of the Government’s End of Life Care Strategy for England.

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In the words of others...

‘How people die remains in the memory of those who live on.’

Dame Cicely Saunders (founder of the modern hospice movement)

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