An out of the blue moment

Published on: 9 March 2022

I first became interested in the Anna Chaplaincy movement when my husband and I were studying for a certificate in ‘Older People’s Ministry’ at Cliff College, led by Debbie Thrower, the pioneer of this ministry.

In my previous existence as a Methodist layworker, the emphasis was always on family and youth work, perhaps often ignoring the contribution of older members of the church, and their evangelistic potential in reaching out to others of the same age. After reflecting on my own experience with Age UK, Cruse, hospital chaplaincy and my work with older people within the church and community, I started to think and pray about the possibility of becoming an Anna Chaplain myself. When I got home, I asked whether there were any Anna Chaplains in the Norwich diocese but no one seemed to know anything about them, so I almost forgot about it, moved house and got on with the lock down and endless zoom meetings.

It was during one of these that I mentioned that I was interested in becoming an Anna Chaplain and somehow my name was passed to the Revd Peter Leech who had been tasked with forming the first group of Anna Chaplains in the Norwich Diocese! It was an “out of the blue” moment that leaves me in no doubt that God often works by himself when he wants something done. The opening words of the commissioning service (which have followed me around for the past 20 years) seemed to confirm both this and my call to this ministry:

‘I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth. I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert’ (Isaiah 43:19).

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Articles in this issue...

A framework for starting something missional in your parish

The Church is still facing the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. When we think about the uncertain future of our churches we need to remember “nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).


My journey

I feel very privileged to be a participant on the Anna Chaplain Training Course and am grateful for our PCC’s support and blessing.


Seeds of ministry sown

Our journeys to becoming Anna Chaplains were similar yet different.


Before engagement comes motivation

It can be an age old dilemma, how do we get children and young people through the doors of church?


New life for waste land

Following major repair works to St Andrew’s Church at Felmingham, situated in a beautiful rural village in North Norfolk, it was a positive time for the Friends of the Church to explore a more ecological approach in the maintenance of the Church and its environment.


Parable of wise and foolish builders

The Climate Crisis can seem far away and not something which will affect us here in Norfolk and Waveney very much.


Let it grow

St Francis Church, Heartsease, has long been committed to proclaiming the Gospel of Christ through offering loving support and practical assistance to the parish we have been called to serve.


Starting from scratch again!

Here at St Andrew’s Eaton (in Norwich), we’d had several attempts at having a church away day, postponed each time by the pandemic.


Wild Church, Norfolk

For the last six months Wild Church has been running in an outdoor community space called Loch Neaton. As a Licensed Lay Minister, I head it up, and a new intergenerational community has been growing.


Hive of spirituality

The Hive in Great Cressingham, Norfolk, was launched in the middle of the pandemic just before the second lock down on 19 December 2020. It is a place of Creativity, Spirituality and Wellbeing.


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