Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Saga Generation

In line with some of my recent comments about older people in the church, I thought the following new(ish) booklet from Grove Books was of interest. It came out in August last year.
The title is, Reaching the Saga Generation, and for those who, like me, hadn't caught up with the term, 'saga', it apparently means older people, those from 55 years and upwards.

The blurb is as follows:
With the baby boomer generation of post-war Britain came the first post-modern values and new attitudes. Forty years on, these ‘first teenagers’ are becoming known as the ‘Saga generation.’

Ironically, they are being largely forgotten by many churches in the desire to reach the new younger generations. This study suggests it is time look again at this group and radically proclaim ‘This church needs more older people!’

In an article entitle, What Church for the Saga Generation? - Cultural Shifts in Younger Old, Michael Collyer gives us some more information on defining 'age.'

Defining old age is no longer an easy task, as the age range can span half a century, from 50 to 105. is helpful to consider three distinctive cohort groups which I set out below.
•Pre-Seniors – 55-65 age group working, active and independent
•Seniors – 65-80 age group retired, active, mostly independent
•Elderly frail – 80 years and over mostly dependent and living alone

The SAGA generation includes both pre-seniors and seniors. The divide between this group and the now elderly frail before them is not merely a generational one; there are significant cultural differences...The causes of these differences are many and varied.

Collyer also notes:
The number of people aged 65 and over has increased by 50 per cent since 1960, from 6 million then to 9 million now and is set to grow rapidly to reach 12.5 million by 2020 as the baby boomers reach retirement.

So there you have it. Watch out for those seniors. They're taking over the world.

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