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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Cornwall's new Anna Chaplains

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

The archdeacon of Cornwall, the Venerable Paul Bryer, Jill Adams, Susan Godolphin and Revd Rosheen Browning.

Warm greetings to our two new Anna Chaplains in Cornwall. A commissioning service for the Illogan and Camborne, Anna Chaplains took place on Sunday 4 September.

Susan Godolphin and Jill Adams were commissioned as Anna Chaplains by the Venerable Paul Bryer, archdeacon of Cornwall, in the St Martin and St Meriadoc's Church, Camborne.

Susan is Anna Chaplain for Camborne, and Jill for the neighbouring parish of St Illogan – both in the Carnmarth North Deanery of Truro Diocese in Cornwall.

It was a service at once joyous and supportive. Present were representatives from both congregations. Revd Canon Olive Stevens representing St Illogan and Revd Rosheen Browning representing Camborne. The archdeacon’s talk revolved around Anna and Simeon from Luke 2:25–38 and the importance of these two people in their old age holding and declaring the baby who would become the promised saviour of the world.

There were four apt and encouraging hymns, sung with gusto by the Cornish congregation and included were both the BRF and Anna prayers:

Almighty God, you have taught us that your word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Help us, and all who prayerfully read your word, to deepen our fellowship with you and with each other through your love. And in so doing may we come to know you more fully, love you more truly, and follow you more faithfully in the steps of your son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for evermore. Amen
Faithful God, You have promised in Christ to be with us to the end of time. Come close to those who have lived long and experienced much Help them to continue to be faithful and, within the all-age Kingdom of God, to find ways to go on giving and receiving your grace, day by day. For your glory and your kingdom Amen

It was all topped off with a fine Cornish tea given by the Camborne congregation. Grateful thanks to all concerned.

Jill Adams describes her personal journey towards Anna Chaplaincy:

'I was always drawn to care with older people ever since volunteering in a care home as a teenager. I have also worked in many hospitals and nursing homes as a care assistant. As I became less capable of the physical stamina needed for care work, I felt the Lord drawing me to spend more time sitting with and standing by residents and patients, caring more for their spiritual needs.

'I worked for a while as a hospital befriender in the local community hospital, talking with patients who are very often older people. It was very rewarding work. It is also where I became aware of the hospital chaplains. Many people seem to feel freer to talk about spiritual concerns if they know you as a chaplain, so I emailed Claire Burgess, chaplain for spiritual and pastoral care in the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. I was considering joining their team, but life and Covid intervened.

'The Lord however was persistent with me and recently, and coincidentally (although we know with God there are no truly random coincidences), Claire and I met for the first time on the Sens Kernewek (Cornish Saints) course, where we were all very much encouraged to deepen our fellowship with the Lord and explore where he might be leading us. Claire introduced me to Anna Chaplaincy and it immediately resonated with me. I looked into it and began to feel it was the way to go.

'Since then I have been taking it step-by-step as the Lord leads and he has brought me to the point of commissioning and the feeling of being sent forth as an Anna Chaplain. I know I have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but I pray that I will allow the Lord to lead as he develops the work within St Illogan parish.'

Susan Godolphin tells her story too:

'For many years I have worked with children. Firstly as a leader with the 2nd Camborne Girls’ Brigade, then in 2010, I was licensed as a reader with Camborne Parish Church in Cornwall. This meant I was heavily involved with taking assemblies in various schools, and taking services in church when it has been packed with children.

'I also worked with our minister visiting families for baptism. Alongside this, I was officiating at funerals. When the pandemic came along, I decided to stop working with children as younger clergy had come into our parish and I thought it was their turn to take over.

'I thought that, after over 48 years working with children, I had done all that God wanted me to do and was finally going to enjoy retirement!

'However, the new clergy had no connection with our elderly congregation. Older people were beginning to feel left out and those who had gone into care homes felt forgotten. I wanted them to know that God had not forgotten them and to refresh their spirituality. I wanted to help them and spoke to our minister and she suggested I become an Anna Chaplain.

'So, on Sunday I was commissioned as an Anna Chaplain. There is so much I want to do but I realise I need to start small and build up. I am confident that God will show me which way to go and I look forward to the future being part of what I feel is a "made to measure" organisation for me to be part of.'




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