• Debbie Thrower

Motivations of a Hampshire group of Anna Friends

Updated: Jan 4

Congratulations to all six Anna Friends commissioned in the Hampshire benefice of Bentley, Binsted and Froyle. The team – Nick Carter, Steve Fice, Richard Greenway, Marilyn Greenway, Sarah Roberts and Liz Carey – work with Anna Chaplain, the Revd Nicky Smallwood.

Nicky explained in an online commissioning service this month how the volunteers' training finished in March this year. Each Anna Friend supports and enriches the Anna Chaplaincy ministry – 'offering practical, emotional, and spiritual support, going into the nursing homes in the area'.

'We're so looking forward to getting back into the nursing homes as soon as we can in the New Year,' said Nicky.

The service can be watched on YouTube. The benefice vicar, the Revd Yann Dubreuil, introduces the service, which took place on the Third Sunday of Advent. Hear what motivated each of the Anna Friends to engage in this lay ministry from 28 minutes, fifteen seconds into the recording.

Marilyn Greenway, for example, remembers the first time she went to visit an older person when she was 15. An elderly lady who the youth group visited, she recalled, got all her best china out for the occasion, but one cup wasn't as clean as it might be and was covered with cobwebs! Despite that, Marilyn said she just really enjoys speaking with older people who have such interesting lives – 'even though I am getting a bit old myself now, I just really enjoy talking to people'.

It is very touching to see the team commissioned in this way, and we join with Yann in wishing them 'grace, wisdom and joy' as they live out their calling. The more formal part of the commissioning ends with a rousing cheer! We look forward to all the work Nicky and her team will continue to do as restrictions lift in those villages near the Hampshire/Surrey border.


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