top of page
  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

A second Anna Chaplain for Birmingham

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Anna Chaplain Debbie Gurling with new Anna Chaplain for Weoley Castle, Christine Miles

We’re delighted to report that Christine Miles was commissioned as an Anna Chaplain in Weoley Castle on Sunday 30 July, the second Anna Chaplain in the city of Birmingham. Supporting her new colleague, was Debbie Gurling, based at the Emmanuel Group of Anglican parishes in Sparkbrook.

Christine explains: ‘I have spent most of my working life with children, most of whom had severe learning difficulties and/or behavioural difficulties. I worked both in England and overseas, including eleven years in Pakistan (supported by Church Mission Society, CMS) and for some years made regular training and advisory visits to Syria. When I retired from teaching I trained as a play therapist, but now I feel my energy levels are insufficient to keep up with children.’

‘For some time I had grown increasingly interested in the emotional difficulties some people experience in old age: these may involve the reliving of childhood traumas, similar to those experienced by some of the children I had recently worked with. My own mother, my mother-in-law and elderly friends from church had made me aware how much older people (and their carers) need a supportive listener, and supporting my husband through a terminal illness brought a further perspective.’
Christine Miles with her minister, Revd Leonora Jagessar

‘While I was thinking about this, a visiting speaker at church (who is not herself an Anna Chaplain) talked about Anna Chaplaincy, and I thought this could be a way forward.

‘I talked to other people at church, including our minister, and they were encouraging.’

‘Covid lockdown soon followed, which demonstrated the low value placed on older people by officialdom. This increased my interest, and, eventually I signed up to one of the Anna Chaplaincy courses, which led to my induction as the second Anna Chaplain in Birmingham.’

Also there on the day to support Christine at her commissioning were BRF’s advocate lead, Jane Butcher, and Anna Chaplaincy’s church lead, Debbie Ducille.

Jane Butcher, Debbie Gurling, Christine Miles and Debbie Ducille



Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page