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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Join Debbie Thrower leading a day in Essex on pastoral care among older people

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

A PASTORAL DAY WITH LUNCH – focusing on Anna Chaplaincy, 'offering spiritual care later in life' on Thursday 28 April, at Mulberry House Hotel, Chelmsford Road, High Ongar, CM5 9NL (on the A414 itself).

This pastoral day led by pioneer of Anna Chaplaincy, the former broadcaster Debbie Thrower, is entitled: 'Anna Chaplaincy – Ministry To Older People'. It will explain the role of Anna Chaplains and offer advice for those caring for older people, whether that's among family, friends or at work. Pick up some tips on ageing well ourselves along the way!

The day runs from 10.15 am to 2.00 pm (tea/coffee and biscuits from 9.45 am). The cost of £26.50 per person includes a two-course lunch at 1.15 pm. To book, please call 01277 365398 option 4 or email

Anna Chaplains are named, of course, after the widow, Anna, who appears with Simeon in Luke's gospel; both are good role models of faithful older people. Anna Chaplaincy is part of BRF and the vision is to have an Anna Chaplain in every small to medium-sized community in the UK; someone who really understands the spirituality of ageing and can help meet the needs, particularly, of those who face prolonged spells alone and can easily become isolated.

Outline of the day:

  • How to help you to help older people reflect on their spiritual journey, including the healing of memories and dealing with outstanding issues such as guilt or lack of forgiveness.

  • How to help you to offer spiritual support so that older people may live more peacefully in their last years and prepare to face the end of their earthly lives.

  • Help you and your church identify, recognise and appreciate the value of the contribution that older people can make to church life.

  • Increase understanding of how young and old can learn from each other and enjoy each other's company.

  • Discover ways to encourage and enable younger generations to consider what constitutes 'successful ageing' and so prepare for more positive experiences in their own old age.

ANNA CHAPLAINCY – 'a gracious gift from the church to their local community '

Anna Chaplains are there for people of strong, little or no faith at all. They have a wide role within the community as an advocate and a champion of the contribution older people make to society.

Spiritual support, provided in a gentle and loving way brings comfort and succour to people who may be at a low point in their lives. It enables older people to live with greater meaning and purpose. Finding some peace in their later years, they may be better prepared to face the end of their earthly lives.

Some of those who become Anna Chaplains, or volunteer Anna Friends working with them, are themselves post-retirement and discover new meaning and impetus through drawing alongside others in this way. Find out more on our website –

Debbie Thrower is a former journalist, TV and radio broadcaster, a Church of England licensed lay minister (LLM) and canon emeritus of Winchester Cathedral.

Her media experience informs her approach to promoting the spiritual welfare of older people, using the narrative of people's lives to seek shape, meaning and purpose, and to foster hope and resilience.




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