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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

A glimpse into the ‘typical’ day of an Anna Chaplain

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

Lilley Mitchell on BBC Radio Oxford

Anna Chaplain Gill Thompson gave a fascinating interview to BBC Radio Oxford presenter Lilley Mitchell on Sunday 31 January. She was invited on the show as the first Anna Chaplain in Oxfordshire.

Lilley said she found what Gill had to say about the effects of the pandemic on older people, and the ways people can become ‘invisible’ as they age, especially moving.

You can listen again via BBC Sounds. Gill’s section starts at 1.08.30” into the programme and ends at 1.17.00”, and is available until the end of February.

Gill, who is a former Maths teacher, is now Anna Chaplain in the rural Ridgeway Benefice near Wantage which has six churches and, according to her, many people who lack basic services and amenities. Her description of spending time walking the footpath near her local retirement complex paints a sad picture of just how lonely people have been during the pandemic and how eager many were to benefit from a conversation as she passed by.

She was asked what a typical day consisted of and described the variety of tasks she undertakes, as well as her hopes for 2022, which include establishing a drop-in dementia cafe to help both those living with the condition and their carers.

Gill was commissioned into her role by the then bishop of Dorchester, Right Revd Colin Fletcher who is chair of BRF’s trustees.

The former bishop of Dorchester, Colin Fletcher, with Gill Thompson on the day she was commissioned as Anna Chaplain in the Ridgeway Benefice, Oxfordshire.



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