Some background to Staging Posts on the Journey of Life

A few years ago, I was contacted by the area manager of the East of England Cooperative Funeral Service for advice on how better to respond to the needs of bereaved families from the various faiths and cultures in our ever-changing society.  As a result, I took on the role of a volunteer consultant and was able to include their staff in our “Faith in Diversity, Cultural Sensitivity and Spiritual Care” training courses.  Four and a half years ago I was offered a suite of rooms for a new Multifaith Centre above their Funeral premises in St. Helen’s St. Ipswich.

I was subsequently invited to join their team in the Coop Funeral Services tent at the Suffolk Show and attended on a regular basis until the Covid outbreak brought the Show to an end for the time being.  The first version of our game “Staging Posts” was designed and produced to attract the attention of passers-by and to lure them into the Funeral Services tent!

Shakespeare’s passage in “As you like it” had fired my imagination as I strove to come to terms myself with the process of ageing and eventual death.  He describes vividly and eloquently seven stages of life from birth to eventual dotage and oblivion.  As I worked on the game it evolved from a basic structure based on those seven stages into a more complex one involving 12 staging posts, reflecting the outlook and concerns of 21st century multi-cultural Britain.  I also began to compose 12 booklets of poetry and prose to accompany the game, drawing on resources of poetry and prose gathered over the years.

Further ideas for Staging Posts emerged from the work of members and associates of the East of England Faiths Agency (EEFA). We were interested in the experiences of elderly people of all faiths and cultures and concerned that their voices should be heard. We were also exploring what pastoral and spiritual care was available to them and to other people of all ages, whether or not they were members of faith communities.

We have trialled the prototype game as an activity for residents in care homes and tested it out in various family and social situations as well as in training workshops for a range of professional people.  The game has proved itself to be very versatile and thought provoking, evoking moments of sorrow and of joyfulness in those who played it.  The rules are simple and straightforward and can be adapted to fit each situation.  Cynthia Capey EEFA



is a game which fosters self-discovery and an understanding and appreciation of other people’s experiences, beliefs and ways of thinking;

is a game which encourages inter-generational conversations as well as the sharing of perspectives between people of similar ages;

is basically a simple interactive game accompanied by a rich mix of prose and poetry to stimulate the imagination and to stir and strengthen memories.

“Old and forgotten memories are the compost of the imagination.”

 Graham Greene