It was a great pleasure to hear the news earlier in July that Wendy Haslam was to be commissioned as an Anna Chaplain for Wells Cathedral. The service took place on Wednesday 27 July, and Debbie Ducille was able to attend, representing the central team at this significant moment in the cathedral’s life as a community.
Wendy will also hold the honorary position of Anna Chaplaincy lead for Bath and Wells Diocese, coordinating what we all hope will be a growing ecumenical network of Anna Chaplains in the area. Congratulations and thanks go to Wendy and to Mike Haslam, chaplaincy development adviser, for their energy, vision and commitment to Anna Chaplaincy.
Wendy explains this calling to ministry, saying:
‘During lockdown, I heard a piece on Radio 4 about Anna Chaplains. Something went “yes” in my heart. I wanted to know more. With a background in the church as a lay minister (reader), I had started to become aware of the needs of older people in the congregation. But felt lacking in knowledge. I had done training in so many areas in the church – but this was something new and for me exciting. Having done my research and talked to our pastoral care lead, I tentatively asked if I could do the Anna Chaplaincy training. I was an enthusiastic trainee, taking full advantage of all that was offered. The Anna Chaplaincy training complements my day job as a therapist – I see transferable skills. I am much looking forward to being based as an Anna Chaplain at Wells Cathedral. A few of the congregation know of Anna Chaplains via their BRF Bible reading notes so that is a good start. This is an exciting new step in my ministry. It will be a privilege to help older people reflect on their spiritual journey and to act as an advocate for the needs of older people in the church and beyond. I have also been asked to take on an additional role within the diocese as diocesan lead for Anna Chaplaincy. Working alongside the chaplaincy adviser, we hope to increase Anna Chaplains within the diocese and more. This is a new role, so is in the making.’