Island meet up
There have been precious few opportunities to meet with Anna Chaplains face to face in the past two years but yesterday was one of them. I travelled to the Isle of Wight (writes Debbie Thrower) on a glorious sunny morning to meet West Wight Anna Chaplain, Anne Powell.
We also had a cuppa with ‘Anna Chaplain in waiting’, Claire Whatley from Newport on the island. We rendezvoused at the beautiful Carisbrooke Priory which is just a stone’s throw from the popular attraction, Carisbrooke Castle.
Both Anne and Claire have lived on the island for decades – fifty-something and thirty-something years each! So they know their respective communities very well and regard Anna Chaplaincy as a vital, much-needed, means of spiritual support for older people in this retirement hotspot.
We wish Claire well with her moves towards becoming a fully-commissioned Anna Chaplain. Anne’s fifteen-hour a week ministry, spread over four days each week, encompasses an Alzheimer’s Cafe which she was going to visit that afternoon, as well as an Oasis group with a regular Traidcraft stall patronised by many older people in West Wight and visits to people individually in their own homes. She has plenty of referrals through social prescribing from GPs.
Anna Chaplaincy has been holding network get-togethers online throughout the pandemic but nothing beats face-to-face chats when it comes to getting to know people better. We are most grateful to both Anne and Claire for all they do in the West Wight and Newport, and for spreading the news of Anna Chaplaincy among other potential volunteers.