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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Back in the classroom at Cliff College as course goes ahead despite Covid

Twenty-two men and women travelled from all over the country to attend a Cliff College short course ‘Introduction to Ministry Among Older People – the Anna Chaplaincy Approach’.

Led by Debbie Thrower, pioneer of Anna Chaplaincy for BRF, attendees had come to Derbyshire from as far afield as Lancashire, Kent, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Devon and the Home Counties.

Wearing face coverings throughout the sessions indoors, topics covered included the spirituality of ageing – why older people matter, cultivating good listening skills and facing one’s own mortality.

There was also a practical session on knowing your own ‘patch’ and forging partnerships, as well as plenty of time to hear one another’s stories and learn from different contexts around the country, as well as sharing good resources.

It was the first such course Cliff College has held since the pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020 said short course leader, Ian White. He welcomed the group and set out the protocols for keeping Covid-safe throughout, confident that the group would enjoy the course which has been held several times at Cliff under Debbie’s tutorship.

Some of those attending were already Anna Chaplains, others were exploring their own potential vocations to the ministry, and all were eager to learn more and broaden their horizons in relation to supporting older people.

The course programme allowed for some free time to also explore the surrounding area which boasts excellent walking in the Dales and the nearby attractions of Chatsworth House, Haddon Hall and the picturesque town of Bakewell.




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