Films & music, Theology

Sharing the gospel with Errol Flynn, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart

Using Film with Older People - by Stephen KuhrtIt has been great to see the reaction to Corin Pilling’s beautiful guest post about how his church has connected with a local care home for those with dementia.

Its another reminder that some of the most important work that the church does is with those who society finds it easy to forget.  Much of this work is ignored by the mainstream media who only really want to focus on what the church says about sex.

Supporting those who are widowed

My brother is a vicar at Christ Church in New Malden.  It’s a busy church with a loads going on in terms of children’s, youth and community work.  One of the long running groups at the church is a group specifically for those who have been widowed.  Many who come to the group are not regular attenders at the church but the vision is ‘to provide community and friendship for widows in the name of Jesus, and by doing so, to witness to his love.’

Stephen has recently written a booklet, sharing his experiences of using films with this group as a way of connecting with them and providing a basis to talk about the Christian faith.  New forms of church, or fresh expressions to use the jargon, are usually thought of as appropriate for younger people. But we need to be imaginative and creative about how we communicate with older people too.

Film as a way of connecting

My brother is nuts about old movies.  He has a big collection of films featuring stars like Errol Flynn, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart.  He realised that often the films of the 1940s and 50s are imprinted on older people’s minds quite clearly and often they contain themes which connect to issues of faith.  In the booklet, Stephen shares his experiences and gives loads of ideas and examples of how he has done this.

I know he’s my brother but if you are interested in how you could use film to connect with groups, whether they are older people or not, then I would recommend this booklet.  It costs £3.95 and can be ordered on the Grove Booklets website.

Related posts: Three Reasons why everyone should watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

2 thoughts on “Sharing the gospel with Errol Flynn, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart”

  1. Thanks Jon. I’ve been thinking about this kind of work over the past year. I was really inspired by Greenbank Care in Cornwall when I went to make a film about them a few months ago – they run a domiciliary care agency for the elderly that started out of their church, just loving and looking after older people who often end up very isolated in Cornwall after retirement. I visit a friend locally each week who is housebound and in her 80s, and I often wonder what good, if anything, this friendship does, as she is very depressed and cynical about life. But she loves old movies, and so perhaps this booklet might help our conversations…


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