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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Anna Chaplaincy in Portsmouth Diocese ‘an answer to prayer’

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

Julie Slade explains why she became an Anna Chaplain recently despite having been part of the network since 2017:

‘In 2016, the pastoral group of our church (Sheet Church, Petersfield), including myself, read an article by Debbie Thrower, in The Reader magazine that highlighted ministry to older people. After prayer, our church moved to employ a part-time seniors’ chaplain. In early 2017, I moved from being a school nurse to that post, funded initially by legacies, since then by a charity and commissioned by Sheet Church. We talked with Alex Burn (Anna Chaplaincy coordinator) at the outset and I became a member of the national Anna Chaplaincy Network, which has been very supportive with its encouragement, gatherings and workshops.

‘A successful bid in 2021 for renewed funding included a commitment to seek to promote and support ministry among older people by other churches in the local area. The subsequent arrival of Bishop Jonathan (Portsmouth) and his immediate introduction of Anna Chaplaincy as a priority within our diocese was an answer to prayer.

‘In view of the local developments, it became important to become a licensed Anna Chaplain – being a demonstrable, widely understood sign of the central support from BRF Anna Chaplaincy and validation of deanery and diocesan support for the ministry. I now also serve Petersfield Deanery as its champion for Anna Chaplaincy.

Being licensed at a Deanery meeting was a bit overwhelming (see blog posted on October 19). Please do pray for this ministry in our local area (East Hampshire).’




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