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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Anna Chaplaincy lead for Cheltenham is appointed

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Gill Ford, new Anna Chaplaincy Lead

A news release has been published announcing the appointment of Gill Ford as the Anna Chaplaincy coordinator for her area.

Increased spiritual support arrives in the Cheltenham area to give faith, hope and interaction to the older generation

'COVID-19 has shown that there is a great need and demand for older people in hospital and care homes to receive much-needed spiritual support. Many of these people have been isolated, with their family and chaplains unable to visit them. This has prevented the older generation receiving the positivity, companionship, interaction, and comfort that they require, especially during this difficult period.

'It is with delight we announce the appointment of an Anna Coordinator, who will bring specialised Anna Chaplaincy for older people in Cheltenham and Bishop’s Cleeve. This has been made possible by CaBiC, an interdenominational charity, which has been set up to support and coordinate ministry to older people in the local area.

'Anna Chaplaincy is a national, inclusive, community-based and person-centred approach to supporting older people, together with their families and carers, both spiritually and pastorally. Gill Ford has been appointed to lead the Anna Chaplaincy in the local area and will now work to build a strong network of chaplains and supporters, to provide this vital, positive, support to the older generation.

'Gill is a part-time law lecturer at UWE (University of the West of England) and has many years’ experience of supporting older people at both The Silver Line Helpline (now Age UK) and the Gloucestershire-based befriending charity People for You project. She has also helped to organise services and support sessions for older people at Holy Apostles Church in Cheltenham, where she worships. Gill will be working with the Trustees, for CaBiC, on a part-time basis, to bring Anna Chaplaincy to the local area.

'“We are thrilled and excited by Gill’s appointment” said the Revd Brian Dunlop, Chair of CaBiC. “Gill brings experience and energy, which will enable us to significantly step up what we offer in Cheltenham and Bishop’s Cleeve.”

'Revd Brian continues: “Gill’s appointment has been made possible by generous grants from Allchurches Trust and the LIFE Development fund - we are enormously grateful to them both for their kindness and support. These grants will now enable us to deliver much-needed pastoral support and comfort to the local older generation, so that they feel less vulnerable, cared for, and assured that they have someone there with them, to share their wonderful life memories, concerns or thoughts and feelings, resulting in a more positive and therapeutic life outlook.”

'Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, added: “We’re delighted that our Hope Beyond grant is helping to fund Gill’s role, helping to address the growing issue of isolation and loneliness in older people, exacerbated by the pandemic. This appointment will make a huge difference to people’s lives at a time when their need is greatest, bringing comfort and companionship.”

'There will be plenty of opportunities to join the rapidly growing Anna Chaplaincy network. If you would like to find out more about joining the team or would like to support CaBiC please visit or email '

For further information please contact Brian Dunlop on 01242 580731 or email

About CaBiC

CaBiC is an interdenominational charity set up to bring Anna Chaplaincy to Cheltenham and Bishop’s Cleeve. Anna Chaplaincy is a national network of over 150 Chaplains and is supported by The Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF). CaBiC is currently involved in providing services for care homes and pre-recorded video services are available on our You Tube Channel. This new appointment will enable us to build a much broader network and, for example, enable us to provide better services and care for those living with dementia. For more details see our website

About Allchurches Trust

Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities and gave £17.8 million to churches, charities, and communities in 2019. Its funds come from its ownership of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group. This grant is part of their Hope Beyond programme, which seeks to provide particular support for projects that will make a difference in the light of the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Their grants further their charitable objectives of promoting the Christian faith and other charitable causes. They welcome applications from all parts of the UK and Ireland, particularly from areas of social and economic deprivation. They fund projects that tackle homelessness, poverty and social exclusion. They also support the repair, restoration and wider community use of churches and cathedrals of all denominations. Follow Allchurches Trust on Facebook @AllchurchesTrust and Twitter @AllchurchesT or visit: for more information.

About the LIFE Development Fund

The LIFE Development Fund was set up five years ago to provide grants to churches, charities and community groups for projects that support the Diocesan LIFE vision of Life in all its fullness (John 10:10). This project supports the specific vision priority of ‘being advocates for human flourishing, through initiatives which combat injustice, environmental destruction, exclusion and isolation.




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