Updated: Jul 17, 2019
BenBinFro is the shorthand name for three Hampshire villages which make up the Church of England benefice of Bentley, Binsted and Froyle.
Former vet Nicky Smallwood has just begun her new role as an Anna Chaplain for the rural benefice that's near the birthplace of Anna Chaplaincy in Hampshire.
'I am really enjoying the opportunity to provide pastoral and spiritual support to older people in residential care, as well as those who are still able to live independently,' she says. 'I have found that my guitar is a wonderful tool to initiate conversations and to connect with those who are less able to communicate.
'I originally trained and worked as a vet, but decided to stop five years ago to spend time exploring a vocation within the church. Since then, I have spent a lot of time volunteering: for Waterfall – supporting women recovering from addictions – at Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices for children and young adults, as well as ministering to those living in residential care homes within my home parish. I am also training for ordination with the School of Mission in Winchester.'
We welcome Nicky to the national network of Anna Chaplains and others in equivalent roles, following her commissioning on 23 June. She succeeds former Anna Chaplain for the rural benefice, Jonathan Rooke, who originally volunteered as an Anna Chaplain in Alton before taking the part-time paid post in the nearby villages. Jonathan, incidentally, is now also an ordinand, pursuing his training, along with Nicky and others in the same cohort, at the Winchester School of Mission.
If she doesn't already, Nicky should feel right at home in her new setting when there is a Marquee and Pet Service at Binsted at 11.00 am this Sunday 7 July 2019. benbinfro.co.uk