Not forgotten: Music and Dementia

Dementia is a condition with an increasing presence in our society. 

As short term memory retention declines, in many instances the brain appears to hold on better to older, deep-set memories and perceptions.  
So, how can music be used to support those who live with this progressive, degenerative condition? How can churches harness this in their ministry to their communities?  

A panel discussion, chaired by Peter Aiers and featuring Adrian Bawtree and Alison Barrington, including suggestions of what effective ministry could look like, and how it might be achieved in practical terms. 

14:00-14:45 27 April 2024


Adrian Bawtree

Adrian Bawtree believes in the power of music to enrich lives, and as a professional musician, he has seen first-hand the impact music and other creative activities can have on improving wellbeing. He is therefore highly motivated to understand how creative activities work and help people to change for the better. He is a co-Director of Kent Arts and Wellbeing and brings a wealth of experience to their programmes having been involved in a diverse range of musical activities, including running a number of singing for health & wellbeing groups. 

Alison Barrington

Alison Barrington is passionate about the therapeutic benefits of music and has been a music therapist for 30 years. Working within end of life care she found that the familiarity of words combined with music has enabled people with dementia to spend quality time with loved ones. As well as a clinician Alison has been a senior lecturer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a guest lecturer within other universities and at conferences both in the UK and the USA. She has written on music therapy extensively and has recently completed a national project for the NHS regarding the impact of music therapy in the healthcare system. She works for North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre in York. Her love of music making extends to her participation in church. She is currently enthusing the youngest York 'Minster Mice' in learning about their faith through songs.

Peter Aiers

Peter Aiers is the 34th Master and Chief Executive of the Charterhouse.

He was previously the Chief Executive of the Churches Conservation Trust, a national charity caring for historic church buildings across England and had worked here for 15 years.

Peter’s background is in historic building conservation and has always had a particular interest in how historic buildings can best serve contemporary society. He has a track record of significant historic church building development projects and also invented Champing™.

Peter is a trustee of the Heritage Alliance and Goodwill Solutions CIO, a member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Lay Member of the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral.


Carl Jackson
Pete Gunstone
Peter Asprey
Hannah Davey
Robert Sharpe
Victoria Johnson
Mark Keith
Ebor Singers
Peter Aiers
Alexander L’Estrange
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell
James Gilchrist
Andy Thomas
Philip Moore
Tansy Castledine
Alison Barrington
William McVicker
Tom Daggett
Roxanna Panufnik
Joanna Forbes L'Estrange
Adrian Bawtree