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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Another new Anna Chaplain for Southampton

Margaret Hague, Anna Chaplain

We're delighted to announce a new Anna Chaplain for Southampton. Margaret Hague is based at Lordshill Church and is looking to build relationships and community across the west side of the city.

Margaret was asked what had prompted her to get involved:

'I’m a member of Victory Gospel Church. Through supporting elderly parents, we as a family became aware of the difficulties that our elderly population, their carers and their families face. The daily struggle of living at home, the frustration and isolation that follow from reduced physical mobility or dementia and the depression that can so quickly set in are all very real issues that many face. God is using our own experience as a church family to light a fire within me to help others through this difficult season.

'I believe that in every older person there is treasure to be unlocked. The abundant life that Jesus came to bring (John 10:10) is available to us at any age. Every person is valuable and has something to offer society. Our older generation is such a blessing, and I believe their lives should be celebrated. I hope that through my role as an Anna Chaplain I will be able to help many explore their spirituality and find peace and happiness. To help an older person navigate safely through their latter years with dignity, hope and joy is an immense privilege.'

Margaret is the latest to join the Southampton Anna Chaplaincy team, which includes Kathy Hyde, Esther Clift, Marion Hitchins and Faith Kenny, led by the City Chaplain for Older People, the Revd Dr Erica Roberts.

The coffee morning team in St Mary's Church Hall in Sholing, Southampton

Kathy Hyde, one of our Anna Chaplains, has pioneered the idea of putting on a classic-style tea room for a Monday morning. To set the scene, there are pictures of these classic cafes on the walls, tea is served in china cups, fresh flowers adorn the tables, scrumptious cakes are provided and there is always fun to be had with jigsaws, knitting and board games.

It has obviously hit the spot, as it's now regularly attended by more than 30 local people. To further encourage the friendships that are developing, they're now also offering a monthly lunch (on the last Monday of the month), as well as a group who meet together for ukulele playing once a month! People obviously care for each other and are forming meaningful relationships. Staying open on a bank holiday attracted their largest attendance – at a time when having some company can be even more important.

People report that they benefit from the companionship and from meeting up with new friends. ‘I come for a laugh,’ says one attendee. ‘It's a cheerful place on a Monday morning,’ says another.

The team are planning a Christmas special soon, and a Valentine's Day Tea Dance in 2020.



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