Former midwife to be commissioned in West End near Southampton this weekend
We are delighted to welcome Carol Kidd to the Anna Chaplaincy network. In her own words she tells us:
Why me? Why Anna Chaplaincy? Why now?
‘Attending church, hearing bible stories, saying prayers were a natural part of my childhood. Through Church Army holiday missions, I came to faith for myself in the early 1970s.
During a 40-year NHS career, 35 of those years as a midwife, my faith provided strength through the best, and the difficult times, of my professional and personal life.
A vocational calling led to LLM (Licensed Lay Ministry) training. Within the ministry team of St James’ West End one of my roles is pastoral team coordinator. Initiating a phone ‘buddy’ system and an online prayer group during the pandemic, organising deliveries of Christmas and Easter cards, accompanied by cake and miniature paschal candles respectively, supporting a zoom coffee morning for the lonely, I questioned with my incumbent ‘what more can be done?’
Anna Chaplaincy’s vision: of being encouragers and hope-bearers for older people of the church and in the community, to those of all faiths and none, is one that resonates deeply.
Encouraged by Vicky (vicar of St James’ West End), inspired by Erica (Southampton’s city chaplain for older people ), welcomed by the Caraway Anna Chaplains and through taking time to pray and discern, I believe God is calling me to be commissioned.
The whole pastoral team will be prayed for and blessed at my commissioning, for their support in visiting lonely and isolated members of the church family, distributing Holy Communion to the housebound, assisting in forging links with the five care homes in the parish, and much more. [Becoming an Anna Chaplain] will enable me to seek new ways of engaging with and providing spiritual and pastoral support for those of later life in the wider community who are seeking meaning for their lives.
Looking back on my career and discipleship pathways, yes, I have moved from caring for the babe in the womb and the newborn to walking with those of later years. Yet the first babies whose births I attended are now in their 40s. Parents for whom I was a named midwife are now aged 60 to 80-year-olds.
Midwife simply means ‘with woman’. I am amazed and very humbled that, by following Christ’s call and praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit, as an Anna Chaplain I will have the privilege of serving and offering to be ‘with’ the very same generation who I journeyed alongside, and was an advocate for, all those years ago. God surely is a God of surprises!’
Carol Kidd LLM, St James’ Church, West End, Hampshire.