Congratulations to Debbie Gurling
Updated: Jul 17, 2019
Congratulations to Debbie Gurling, who has become the first Anna Chaplain in Birmingham. At a commissioning service on 2 June 2019 in Sparkhill, Debbie also preached. ‘I reminded people that not everyone lives long enough to get old, so that shouldn't be the reason why older people should matter to us, but love should be the reason.’
Debbie summed up the experience of being sent out on behalf of the congregations of The Emmanuel Group of Anglican parishes (Christ Church Sparkbrook, St Edmund's Tyseley, St John's Sparkhill, St Christopher's Springfield) in this way: ‘Sunday is up there with being one of the best days of my life.’
Her incumbent, the Revd Tom Thomas, presided. 'Debbie spoke really well – her passion and sense of call was clear for all to see,’ he said. ‘We did an interview, which really helped to unpack both Debbie's sense of calling but also exactly what Anna Chaplaincy is and how it might develop in our area here. Debbie preached from the Anna passage (Luke 2) and it was clear how much all this means for her. We hope Debbie will make the invisible older people in our community visible, so they can share their riches with us and we can have the privilege of walking with them through the final stages of their lives.'
Debbie has extensive experience of working with older men and women in the voluntary sector. Read more about her path to Anna Chaplaincy: annachaplaincy.org.uk/chaplains-stories