Anna Chaplaincy is a gracious response to the biblical imperative to 'look after widows' and the vulnerable. We assume God has a special care for those in older age, if the number of references to longevity, old age, long life and its many blessings in any Bible Concordance is anything to go by.
A contemporary poet, Nicola Slee, has written a poem about Anna, which partly inspired the name of the chaplaincy. Her poem Anna encapsulates many of the transformative factors inherent in this ministry... Read more
This poem by Helen Jesty was inspired by her experiences of conducting Holy Communion services in care homes in Marlfield. It is reproduced with her permission. 'What Sweet Communion' The Table is set with Cloth, Chalice and Cross. The Candles are lit. Peter is sleeping, Gwen sits The silence broken by Bargain Hunt No one is watching. More come in wheel chairs and others slowly walk in with frames. It's so lovely to see you... Read more
'The Long Goodbye', dedicated to my mother, who has severe dementia. Outwardly you look the same: Hair set and carefully curled, Matching clothes - usually a touch of pink Your sometime welcome smile appears, but not so regularly. You learned so masterly The correct reply to give; Your inability to recall covered with a crafted mask; For us, the hard-to-recognise missed clues. 'I'll have what you are having.' Made restaurant meals a possibility; A desire... Read more
We are grateful to a subscriber to The Gift of Years newsletter in Cheltenham who brought this poem by Norman MacNamara to our attention. It is reproduced with Norman’s kind permission. When I wander don’t tell me to come and sit down. Wander with me. It may be because I am hungry, thirsty, need the toilet. Or maybe I just need to stretch my legs. When I call for my mother (even though I’m ninety!)... Read more
Poetry may often console people when they are going through all sorts of issues, including illness, coping with disability or dark times. The following list of poems highlights some that may be helpful in different situations: A song of living by Amelia Josephine Burr - a poem about loving life Eden Rock by Charles Causley - a poem written in memory of loss ones Grandad hands by Jo Dolby - a poem written in memory... Read more
An imaginary monologue by the biblical figure Anna, who appears with Simeon in Luke 2. This has been specially written to help people engage with the story of the widow, Anna, and her deepening faith. Entitled, 'Anna reflects', it is by John Lansley, Editor of Plus magazine, the magazine of Christians on Ageing (formerly the Christian Council on Ageing, CCOA)... Read more
One of the guests to our Holiday at Home schemes, run by Erica Roberts, felt moved to pen a poem about her experience. Reproduced with permission. Going to the Med June 2017 Apologies to 'The Owl & the Pussy Cat' by Edward Lear. We went to sea on a cruise we did, to Italy, Turkey and Greece. We all had pasta. We couldn’t eat faster, And laid in the sun for some peace. First we... Read more