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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Carving out a new role – Jill Phipps

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

Debbie Thrower and Jill Phipps at Portsmouth Cathedral's Grandparents Festival a few years ago.

Congratulations to Jill Phipps as she takes the path to ordination.

The first time I met Jill was when she was helping with a Grandparents Festival at Portsmouth Cathedral back in 2015 (as you can see in the photo above). She became an advocate for older people in the city and joined the Anna Chaplaincy network as the community-based role was so similar to that of an Anna Chaplain in all but name. Like me, she was also a reader or licensed lay minister (LLM) at that time.

Jill Phipps and friends sampling Messy Vintage at a conference in Chandlers Ford in 2016.

In her care home ministry, she developed such a skill incorporating craft with worship, especially for people living with dementia, that when we were looking for someone to help publicise and train people in the art of Messy Vintage she became our advocate for that as well!

She and Katie Norman, who first developed the Messy Church style of worship specifically for older people in Jersey, were soon collaborating on a book.

Now we have Messy Vintage: 52 sessions to share Christ-centred fun and fellowship with the older generation from BRF – one for every week of the year – the 'Bible' for everyone responsible for delivering Messy Vintage in their area and scratching their heads for ideas of what to put on next!

Katie has teams of volunteers in the Channel Islands taking Messy Vintage into dementia wards, secure mental health units and into many residential care homes all over the island of Jersey.

Jill's next assignment which she responded to with eagerness was to cowrite with Anna Chaplain Gail Millar, Grief Conversations (BRF, 2022), which is free to download as a pdf from our Anna Chaplaincy website.

So it is with great pride that we welcome the news that Jill has now passed her bishops' advisory panel and is on the way to ordination training in the Church of England. Based in the diocese of Portsmouth, Jill is also a key part of moves in that part of southern England to expand the numbers of Anna Chaplains across the parishes.

Good luck with the training Jill, and keep us posted on all the new opportunities opening up before you.




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