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A third year running, teaching students at St Mellitus

Trainee priests warmed to the subject of the spirituality of ageing as original pioneer of Anna Chaplaincy, Debbie Thrower, led two sessions at St Mellitus in London and the East Midlands.

Dozens of first year ordinands gathered in the biggest teaching space, the main nave of the college, in West London's Collingham Road. Debbie's theme was ' Discipling the mature - developing a caring ministry among people in their later years'. With supporting handouts and slides, she unpacked some of the principles of Anna Chaplaincy and aspects of the spirituality of ageing not covered elsewhere in the students' syllabus.

Discussing many of the losses sustained post-retirement, students spoke of the older people who'd had the most influence on their lives, and reflected on the changing nature of our lives as longevity shapes our rapidly ageing society. Debbie both read extracts from selected 'good reads' on a comprehensive list of relevant books on the subject for further reading.

The next day, on Tuesday May 14, both Debbie Ducille and Debbie Thrower were in action at St Mellitus East Midlands, based at Trinity Church in Nottingham.

Following a similar structure for the session as the day before, Debbie Ducille was also able to add some of her own reflections as Anna Chaplaincy's Ministry Lead. It was a slightly smaller group than in London, but the even more relaxed atmosphere meant students felt comfortable engaging fully in questions and answers. Debbie D had also brought along many BRF publications and resources they were keen to browse.

The college's Director of innovation and development, the Revd Ed Olsworth-Peter said afterwards:

'Thank you so much for joining us to deliver your session at St Mellitus College. The students enormously valued your input, and we are so grateful that you could contribute on your important topic.'




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