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  • Debbie Thrower

'Blueprint' for churches

Updated: Jul 17, 2019

The Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) publishes the story of how one Church of England diocese developed Anna Chaplaincy, encouraging other dioceses – and other denominations – to follow Rochester's lead...


Julia Burton-Jones has written the definitive guide to how to get Anna Chaplaincy underway across a whole diocese. The story began in 2015, when she was appointed the Dementia Specialist Project Officer for Rochester.


Anna Chaplaincy in Rochester Diocese: A blueprint for other dioceses across the UK (BRF, 2019) spells out, step by step, how this approach to supporting older people with a particular emphasis on supporting those living with dementia and their carers – in that part of Kent and South London – gained momentum.


'A time of unprecedented longevity in British society'

‘Ministry alongside older people is not new and was being practised by a great many people in pastoral roles when I came into post,' she writes, 'but it can be invisible and lack recognition and resourcing. Anna Chaplaincy gives definition and identity to ministry with those in the Third and Fourth Ages of their lives at a time of unprecedented longevity in British society.’


The Archbishop of Canterbury is photographed when he commissioned a cohort of Anna Chaplains in Rochester Diocese at a service in Bromley Common, south London, last October (2018).


With useful appendices, detailing mentor roles, an example of commissioning liturgy and a template agenda for running hub meetings when Anna Chaplains meet to reflect on their work and gain support from one another, the 48-page booklet is a welcome companion to the Anna Chaplaincy Handbook (BRF, 2017).


It's being launched in York next week on the eve of a debate at General Synod calling on the wider church to encourage the development of Anna Chaplaincy. Copies will be available on written request and we simply ask for a donation to cover publication and future reprinting costs. To request your copy of Anna Chaplaincy in Rochester Diocese: A blueprint for other dioceses across the UK, send us your full name and address: annachaplaincy@brf.org.uk

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