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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Magazine full of hope

A woman on a mission

A subscriber to the Anna Chaplaincy blogs, Carmel McDonnell, writes to tell us about the Good News magazine called HOPE.

'After retiring from teaching last year,' she says, 'I was hoping to go into care homes, possibly as an Anna Chaplain, or just volunteer to take short services through the local Christian charity for older people that I'm a part of (Compassion Care Community Trust). I also volunteer as a chaplain in hospitals, although this has stopped since the Covid outbreak.'

She explains that HOPE magazine is produced and distributed by the Gideons (now called Good News for Everyone). 'Although not a full member of the charity yet, I have been helping with the distribution of the magazines into care homes in the city of Cambridge. I have been phoning the care homes to tell them about this free magazine and then I ask them how many they'd like. I've contacted 13 care homes and all apart from one have welcomed the magazines.'

Beautifully illustrated

Carmel is quite right, the magazines are, indeed, 'beautifully illustrated with encouraging scripture verses on the pictures, usually from the psalms. At the back of the magazine there is the gospel of John to read. It's truly a magazine for this time, and came out at the beginning of last year, 2020. The magazine is a ministry in itself! Through the encouragement of the scriptures that are on every page, coupled with the beauty of the pictures, God speaks his peace, comfort, encouragement and faithfulness to us. I can personally testify that the magazine has ministered in that way to me,' she adds.

Carmel would like to bring the magazine to a wider audience: 'For many older people in care homes, a magazine like this can brighten their day. It can be kept in their room, to pick up and put down whenever they choose. It's especially useful for those with dementia. A carer in my aunt's care home said that the dementia unit would love it.

'I feel because of the times we are living in (in and out of lockdown!) and all the restrictions placed on chaplains and visitors of care homes, we need to get God's word into the care homes, because truly, "the entrance of your word gives light" (apparently the Greek meaning is more akin to 'floods with light'; Psalm 119:130).'

Encouraging Anna Chaplains

'I would like to encourage all the Anna Chaplains to think about getting the magazines into as many care homes as possible in their area, as I have done in Cambridge. A friend told me that Canterbury has distributed the magazines to the care homes in that city. The ministry of the Anna Chaplains is one of comfort and encouragement. I believe these magazines will do just that through the scriptures on each page.'

She has given permission to pass on her email address to anyone who would like more information: Carmel McDonnell



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