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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

First steps for Frinton

Updated: Nov 6, 2019

It's only a few weeks since Sally Bates came on the weekend course I ran at Derbyshire's Cliff College on ministry among older people, and already she's putting some of the theory into practice.

Special responsibility for the over-65s, Sally Bates, Associate Pastor, Frinton Free Church, Essex

As associate pastor at Frinton Free Church in Essex, Sally Bates says, 'I have just started to "sound out" the local churches, initially to see what work is already being done for seniors, with a view to holding an inaugural sharing/prayer meeting in the new year. We’ll see where things go from there!'

Sally has joined our national network of Anna Chaplains and those in equivalent roles and sees membership as a way of reinforcing her role with special responsibility for those over 65.

Faith journey

We asked Sally to tell us a little bit about her faith journey so far:

'Having spent 26 years as a teacher of English as a foreign language in the UK and Italy, serving God alongside this in my local church in various ways, I never imagined he would call me to full-time ministry. But when the post of associate pastor with particular responsibility for the over-65s came up last year in our church, I felt a very strong conviction that this was what God had planned for me.

'I began the role in May 2019 and have been so encouraged by what is being done both for seniors in our church and community and by what is done by them in so many areas of ministry. Our ‘motto’ has become Proverbs 4:18: "The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine" (MSG).

'We run an outreach morning every week with a range of activities for a group of about 80 seniors, many of whom are widowed. We also have a coffee shop open almost every morning of the week, where people can find a warm welcome and a listening ear.

'There are excellent relationships between the different churches in the area, and my vision is to coordinate what we do to encourage one another, share resources and work together wherever we can to support people in their later life.'

We wish Sally well in her role and look forward to meeting her at next year's annual Gathering, if not before.


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