Helping steer Anna Chaplaincy in Cumbria
Updated: Sep 17
New network member says, 'It is exciting to know the first Anna Chaplains in Cumbria will hopefully be commissioned later this year.'
We've had the pleasure of working with the Revd Sue O'Loughlin in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria, for some time now. She was a student at Cliff College, Derbyshire, on an introductory weekend on Anna Chaplaincy which I led a year ago (September 2019), and went on to complete the week-long Certificate Course there on Ministry among Older People in February 2020. Sue has recently joined the Anna Chaplaincy network and we asked her to tell us more about her work:
I am an ordained Distinctive Deacon completing my final year of curacy in an ecumenical Mission Community in the south-west corner of Cumbria. This is a very rural area with many older people living alone, in supported accommodation and in care homes.
Journeying through lockdown
I have been involved with a group of elderly residents of a sheltered housing complex for about four years and have journeyed with them through some happy and difficult times, not least the 2020 experience of lockdown and the following and ongoing restrictions on movement and socialising.
Before lockdown I was developing my relationship with our local care homes and spending time with several residents building relationship and hearing their stories. With some members of the local church we were growing our contact with one care home through singing ministry and a monthly Holy Communion service for the residents.
Affirmed as a chaplain to older people
The ecumenical Mission Community is committed to the Anna Chaplain approach to offering spiritual care, and on completing the Certificate Course in Ministry among Older People earlier this year, I felt affirmed in my ministry as a chaplain to older people, which has been acknowledged and confirmed by my incumbent and the ministry team.
Anna Chaplaincy Advisory Group
I am a member of the Anna Chaplain Advisory Group for the Carlisle Diocese, and it is exciting to know the first Anna Chaplains in Cumbria will hopefully be commissioned later this year. I look forward to exploring new ways of reaching and serving the older people in our communities as we face the continuing challenges of the pandemic.