We're delighted to welcome a couple to our network whom we have known for many years. Tim and Jean Howlett, from Aylesbury, have been leading a group for older people at their church for more than ten years. In addition, they lead a team to take services into two care homes in the town.
They explain how their Anna Chaplaincy story began back in 2015, when 'seeds were sown':
'It was in this year that contact with Debbie Thrower was made when we met her at a retreat day she was leading. It was then our journey with Anna Chaplaincy really began and our vision was given to see an Anna Chaplain officially appointed within the town of Aylesbury and the surrounding area.'
Anna Chaplaincy has been, and continues to be, an integral part of their work. Tim and Jean say they have found the training through the network annual gatherings and the Certificate Course in Ministry Among Older People at Cliff College, the support from the Anna Chaplaincy team at BRF and those within the Anna Chaplaincy network, 'so encouraging and helpful'.
From our perspective, writes Debbie, it has been a privilege and a joy to see their work within their community of older people flourish through the love and loyal commitment of theirs, and that of their friends who help and support them.
One book has been a particular inspiration to Tim and Jean: 'Lyndall Bywater in her book Prayer in the Making: Trying it, talking it, sustaining it (BRF, 2019) describes her dream for a “boiler room” prayer community in Canterbury. The author explained, 'I began to make my plans. In my mind’s eye I could see a group of people who prayed and shared life together. With hindsight, I’m glad God never mentioned how long the dream would take to come to fruition. It was about ten years and two months later that the Canterbury Boiler Room community first opened the door to our little prayer shop”. '
Tim and Jean Howlett
7 October 2020
Tim and Jean’s vision for an Anna Chaplain in their Aylesbury area remains just that, a vision, but they are persisting and pursuing their original dream with great determination!
In the meantime, a meeting they held the year before last has led us to talks with people keen to develop Anna Chaplaincy in a neighbouring town.
So, watch this space, I say...