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Back where it all started – as new Anna Chaplain is commissioned in Kent...

Updated: Aug 12


Julia Burton-Jones and Rose Waghorn

Rose Waghorn became our newest Anna Chaplain when she was commissioned at the main morning service at her church, St Barnabas in Istead Rise, Kent, on Sunday 8 August.

Flashback to February 2016

It was especially meaningful for Diocesan Anna Chaplaincy lead Julia Burton-Jones because it was at St Barnabas that Anna Chaplaincy was first introduced to Rochester Diocese at an event with Debbie Thrower and Alex Burn in February 2016. Istead Rise is a village not far from Gravesend in West Kent.


Rose was commissioned by the Bishop of Tonbridge, Simon Burton-Jones, who is Julia’s husband and is holding the fort in Rochester Diocese after diocesan bishop James Langstaff retired in July. Julia spoke for a few minutes explaining Anna Chaplaincy and encouraging members of the congregation to consider joining the Anna Chaplaincy team to support Rose.


A wave of encouragement was felt from members of the congregation present in the church building, and others joining online, as well as Rose’s friends, husband, sister, brother-in-law, children and grandchildren, some travelling a distance to join the service. Her sons Mark, Ian and Neil came together with their partners and Rose’s five grandchildren (all under 7!) for the first time since the start of the pandemic to mark the commissioning. It was an opportunity for the family to be introduced to baby Hugo who lives in Wales.


Bishop of Tonbridge, Simon Burton-Jones, after commissioning Rose

Bishop Simon preached on Jesus, the bread of life, before Rose was commissioned. Rose led the intercessions and fittingly included the well-known prayer ‘God be in my head’. The congregation stayed on for coffee, tea and a delicious array of cakes. It was the first time refreshments had been served after a service at St Barnabas since lockdown ended.


Here is what Rose told us about her new role as Anna Chaplain at St Barnabas:


For many years I was an evangelist in St Nicholas Southfleet, a neighbouring parish, before moving house to Istead Rise a couple of years ago. Previously I mostly worked with children and their parents, and I was recommissioned earlier this year as an evangelist, but because of lockdown I’ve not been able to do very much except to get to know people. I had been aware that I was being asked to move on and serve in a different role for quite a while before I ‘jumped’ parishes. Professionally I have worked with people who couldn’t ‘do’ maths, in the community. Latterly I set up a not-for-profit business for people with dementia, running groups in the community through singing, before a stint working as pastoral care co-ordinator in a Christian dementia care home. This work has given me much experience of setting up activities and supporting carers and having spoken to Julia I participated in the online Anna Chaplaincy course in the spring. I’m hoping to restart a number of groups which have stalled because of the pandemic, beginning with a craft group which will be re-launched in the early autumn – watch this space.

'God be in my head and in my understanding;

God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;

God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;

God be in my heart, and in my thinking;

God be at mine end, and at my departing.'

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