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The Revd Richard Coles The Madness of Grief book cover.jpg

Richard Coles’ partner David died just before Christmas in 2019. In the ‘mad’ state of bereavement he found himself in, he started writing and the exercise was cathartic in itself.… Read more

World Turned Upside Down Alison Morgan book cover.jpg

World Turned Upside Down: The Psalms and the spirituality of pain – Finding a way through (BRF 2023), will resonate with those with sorrows to lament and trust to cultivate… Read more

White Stone book cover Esther de Waal.jpg

The White Stone: The art of letting go (Canterbury Press, 2021) was largely written during lockdown and is the author’s way of ‘exploring my feelings, making sense of my situation’… Read more

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No one wants to think about their own demise but With the End in Mind: How to live and die well by Kathryn Mannix (William Collins, 2017) shows there are positive advantages to facing up to death. It’s a book to engender courage… Read more


Care of older people is a major issue in the UK, yet many current concerns, and much conventional planning, are based on outdated assumptions or misunderstandings about the nature of ageing. Explore this title by James Atwood and Jenny Kartupelis where they work to shatter these myths to create new and more useful models for our society… Read more


A new book making an important contribution to improving the every day lives of older people. Making Relational Care Work for Older People: Exploring innovation and best practice in everyday life by Jenny Kartupelis (Routledge, 2021) is reviewed by Julia Burton-Jones, our Anna Chaplaincy Church Lead… Read more

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Brian Dunlop (chair of CaBic – Cheltenham and Bishop’s Cleeve Anna Chaplaincy for older people) reviews a book that has much to offer those encountering frailty – their own or that of a relative or friend – for the first time… Read more

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The question of how best to pray with people with dementia as they approach the end of their life is one that has surfaced recently… Read more


How does this collection of love poetry differ from so many others? Well, Janet Morley has chosen poems dealing with different stages of life… Read more

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Where do we turn when our world is falling apart?... Read more

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Mentoring Conversations provides a basis for spiritual conversation in a mentoring context through 30 short chapters structured around six key topic areas: Foundations; Steps to growth; Living out your faith; Going deeper; Staying strong; and Living with mystery... Read more

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Fear, terrorism, corruption, fake news… it can be easy to become discouraged by the culture around us. Now more than ever, society needs hope in order to survive and flourish. This book takes us beyond comfort zones and easy answers, and towards a deeper understanding and practice of hope... Read more

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The aim of the new guides is to give carers the confidence and skills to enable those in their care not only to cope emotionally and spiritually but even to thrive, despite challenging circumstances... Read more


The Freedom of Years: Ageing in perspective by Harriet and Donald Mowat (BRF, 2018) is invaluable for those providing spiritual care. But it is a book for everyone because, as the authors make clear, we are all ageing from the moment of conception. This is a book about us, not just ‘them’. It also highlights power of story at every age and stage of life, but most particularly in our later years. ‘Walking the ageing... Read more


Bible Reflections for Older People is a daily companion to keep by one's side. The success of a sampler edition of these notes in 2014 prompted us to produce regular Bible reading notes designed especially for those in retirement and in their later years. Our aim is to provide daily devotional reading, written by older people and for older people, discussing issues directly affecting the quality of later life such as hope, remembrance, and loneliness... Read more


It may be bucking the trend to see one’s own ageing process in such a confident light; growing old boldly, as the subtitle of this new book recommends, is a positively counter-cultural approach. Yet writer Wanda Nash did just that – she grew old regarding the twists and turns of her later years as an ‘adventure’. Her unique take on what it is like ‘being old’ owes much to her oft-repeated theme that we are... Read more

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'This is an extraordinarily moving graphic novel, in which a successful German scientist, Gerda Wendt, reviews her life through flashbacks as she sits gently in her retirement home. Her reflections on whether or not she has led a good life touch on many of the concerns and joys that Anna Chaplains are privileged to share... Read more

Christians on Ageing booklet on pastoral

Good ideas from all over the country for offering spiritual care to older people are collated in a brand-new booklet published by Christians on Ageing. Anna Chaplaincy is featured in Making a start: Developing pastoral care for older people, among other articles from one of our network members in Birmingham, and others reporting on their work in Leeds, North Allerton and Thirsk in North Yorkshire, and South Lanarkshire, Scotland.... Read more

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In this recent edition of the podcast series 'Reading Our Times', Gerrard describes her father’s dementia and the moving book she has written about the experience... Read more

Prophetic Imagination Walter Brueggemann

Brueggemann has, over 30 years, reviewed, revised and edited his conception of the mind, thoughts and subsequent writings of the prophets in the Hebrew scriptures. Brueggemann says that the interface of 'prophetic' and 'imagination' has turned out to be a most important one, although a pure happenstance, the title was thought of at a late stage of publication. It was, however, a most fortuitous choice... Read more

Michael Sadgrove Wisdom and Ministry.web

A man who has educated a generation of church leaders is bowing out of public life. Michael Sadgrove's thoughts on reaching 70 and moving into retirement are pertinent to us all as we explore what the Third and Fourth Ages of life are actually for... Read more

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The Revd Brian Dunlop, working to establish Anna Chaplaincy in Cheltenham, reviews The Age of Ageing Better: A manifesto for our future by Dr Anna Dixon (Green Tree, 2020): I am tempted to say that this is a book that everyone should read, although some might be wary when they see that it is full of statistics and graphs. I also wish that I had been able to read it in my 30s rather than in my 70s, but in fact it is never too late.... Read more

Afloat Niigel Baines.jpg

Afloat is a graphic novel that the author has self-published and, because of his career in publishing and graphic design, it is a highly professional, as well as a deeply personal, piece of work.... Read more

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Have you ever wondered how people cope with living with dementia? This book is a poignant and truthful account of how Robin and his wife Shoko lived with her Alzheimer’s. As the title suggests, it truly is a love story.… Read more

Grace for the Unexpected Journey Devotio

Published in the USA by Moody Publishers in 2018, Grace for the Unexpected Journey: A 60-Day Devotional for Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia Caregivers, by Deborah Barr, brings encouragement from scripture as well as sound practical advice based on Barr’s many years of experience supporting caregivers through the Alzheimer’s Association. It is available from online Christian booksellers in the UK.… Read more


Kathy Berry's book, When Words Fail: Practical ministry to people with dementia and their caregivers (Kregel Publications, 2019), contains practical ideas for clergy, lay ministers and caregivers about caring for spiritual needs through different stages of dementia… Read more


Dementia-Friendly Worship: A multifaith handbook for chaplains, clergy, and faith communities (Jessica Kingsbury Publishers, 2019) contains resources to help create dementia-friendly faith communities and dementia-friendly worship experiences… Read more

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Author Matt Haig is in his 40s, but he's written a guide to surviving and, indeed, thriving with depression that's pertinent to those in old age dogged by the condition as much as for those of younger years. His description of approaching a cliff edge – literally as well as metaphorically – when in his 20s, and almost being propelled over the edge by his suicidal thoughts, stays long in the memory… Read more

Justin Welby, Reimagining Britain- Found

Ageing and the issue of caring for older members of the population feature prominently in the Archbishop of Canterbury's exposition of what makes for 'community, courage and stability' in society. At the heart of all he outlines is the story of hope that centres on Jesus Christ… Read more

Finding the Light in Dementia Jane Mulli

There may be more books than ever about dementia. But few prove as helpful and practical for those who find themselves at a loss when the diagnosis is first made than Jane Mullins' Finding the Light in Dementia: 
A guide for families and caregivers
 (DUETcare, 2017). The author is a dementia nurse consultant and has worked for the past 25 years in Memory Clinics in Bath and Cardiff… Read more

Silent Grief Living in the wake of suici

Christopher Lukas knows first-hand what it is to lose not just one person close to him from this cause of death, but several; his mother, an ageing aunt and uncle, and a life-long friend since childhood, followed years later by his brother too. He started writing about suicide as a therapeutic activity for his own benefit and soon realised he had something to offer others whose lives are irrevocably changed through a suicide in their own family or close social circle.… Read more


Felicity Warner is a former journalist. Her own family experiences of accompanying loved ones who were dying has informed her sensibility towards the needs of those nearing the end of their life. The movement she founded as a result claims to have changed the face of modern holistic and spiritual palliative care in the UK and abroad. Soul Midwives are holistic... Read more


Eileen Shamy: This book provides guidelines for those involved in pastoral visits to people with dementia - practical advice, frameworks for worship, spiritual and physical needs, memory cueing, personal worth, dignity and personal choice, and much more. It draws on her own experiences as a cleric working with older people in care settings... Read more

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If you’re looking for good ideas that brings the generations together for activities alongside one another… we’ve news of a useful resource. The Gift of Years network member the Revd Dr Erica Roberts, Southampton’s City Chaplain for Older People, has been collaborating with her own Winchester Diocese, and the Portsmouth Diocese. A whole folder of ideas is the result, entitled ‘Intergenerational Projects for Schools and Parishes'. Among the ideas, which help foster friendship and mutual... Read more


These companion volumes are useful aids for anyone putting together worship for older people or for someone who just wants an anthology that is easy to dip into at leisure. In his foreword to The Time of Your Life, Revd Simon Ponsonby, Pastor of Theology at St Aldates Church in Oxford, writes how he first met Marie at a conference: What struck me was her depth of spirituality, her desire for more... Read more


Those familiar with his Facing the Future series of three books (with a fourth on the way) will be pleased to know that Dr William A.M. Cutting has now turned his attention specifically to dementia and published Dementia: A Positive Response: Hope, help and humour on the journey (Onwards and Upwards Publishing, 2018). With a Foreword by Louise Morse (well-known for her own books on dementia and her work for Pilgrims’ Friend Society), this book... Read more


There is so much to fascinate those interested in their own ageing, and in the recent shifts in attitudes to the ageing process, and the lives of older people generally in today’s society, in Spiritual Dimensions of Ageing, edited by Malcolm Johnson and Joanna Walker (Cambridge University Press, 2016). This is what one might call a ‘once in a generation’ book, collecting the views of sixteen academics, researchers and practitioners from all over the... Read more


This year Rupert Bristow has published Abiding Grace: Prayers for later in life (Kevin Mayhew, 2016). Bristow has poems in this collection for times of celebration, for the transition stages such as retirement, through to the most testing periods of illness and facing death. He writes that it is through God's saving grace, and an awareness of his presence in our lives, 'that we can all seek to make the seamless transition from life to... Read more

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