Seeds of ministry sown

Published on: 9 March 2022

Our journeys to becoming Anna Chaplains were similar yet different.

At a young age Peta realised, through her grandfather’s ministerial work in a retirement village, how important it was to support those with additional needs and older people on their spiritual journey. For Gaye is was as much later stage in her life when, her mother, a regular Churchgoer, had to move to a residential care home for the last 18 months of her life, and during that time no representative from any Church visited the home. It made her aware of the need to take God’s love to those who can no longer come to Church. God had sown the seeds of ministry for the elderly in both our hearts and for the last few years Gaye has been involved in taking worship into residential care homes and Peta has helped with our Forget Me Not Café and their monthly church service.

Three years ago we heard about Anna Chaplaincy. It’s a relatively new ministry for the elderly and those on the dementia pathway, which operates under the Bible Reading Fellowship umbrella. Anna Chaplaincy gives definition and identity to ministry for the elderly and those on the dementia pathway. Their ethos and vision resonated with our own calling and we initially joined the network as members. We knew that this was where we were being called to help us grow our own ministry. We were commissioned as Anna Chaplains by Bishop Jane in September 2021. We attended an Anna Chaplain training course and are now growing in our new roles. Anna Chaplaincy is all about nurturing spirituality in its broadest sense, as an ecumenical, non-judgemental, person centred, community based spiritual care for older people, and those on the dementia pathway, of all faiths and no faith. What we offer as Anna Chaplains varies according to local needs: it includes one-to-one support, end of life support, prayer ministry, leading care homes worship, leading Forget Me Not worship, supporting dementia activities, advocating for people with dementia and supporting carers.

As we write this we pray that whether or not you sense that Anna Chaplaincy is right for your Church and community, you will find ways to nurture and encourage faith and spirituality in older people.

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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).


An out of the blue moment

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.


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.


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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