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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

New Wine

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

Improving with age

Many's the wine which improves with age, and as Anna Chaplaincy took to the stand at the New Wine Christian festival, the message that maturity is a good thing was well to the fore. And we weren't alone – both Pilgrim Homes and Faith in Later Life were focusing on Christian discipleship and longevity too.

Memory plays such a part in the narrative of our lives that we thought it would be fun to ask the question: 'Where were you when?… Martin Luther King delivered his iconic speech 'I have a dream?'… or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon?… or the Berlin Wall came down?

Bringing back memories

The answers – on Post-it notes – showed how vivid our memories can be for epoch-changing events. Some of you were watching events unfold on TV, another said 'in Truro!' and yet another recalled a friend bringing back a piece of the historic wall dividing east and west Berlin, having witnessed the symbolic demolition for themselves.

It's through the stories of our lives that we make sense of who we are, were and will be and gain a sense of perspective around our place in the grand scheme of things.

'There were 22,000 people at the festival staged in Peterborough this summer. It was the first time BRF has been to the event. We handed out over 5kg of sweets. We had a map and asked people who interacted with BRF in some form – through Anna Chaplaincy, or who ran a Messy Church Group, or were doing the Parenting for Faith course – to add a sticker to our map. The interactions covered a vast geographical area from Cornwall to the Inner Hebrides, from the Channel Islands to the Isle of Man,' said Jay Elliott, our Head of Finance, Fundraising and Operations.

Creating a buzz

'It was interesting that as the event went on, we had more and more interest in Anna Chaplaincy,' explained BRF's Parenting for Faith Coordinator, Becky Sedgwick. 'Pilgrim Homes [Pilgrim's Friend Society] and Faith in Later Life also had a stand, so I think together we created a bit of a buzz around the possibility of people proactively engaging with older people. We had a good number of conversations with people who’d never heard of Anna Chaplaincy but whose faces lit up when they began to see how it might fit with what they were already doing or were dreaming of doing.'

Messy Vintage

'Many also loved the idea of using Messy Vintage to enrich their existing work in residential settings, seeing how engaging it would be and how it would provide great opportunities for conversations. It was lovely when you saw lightbulbs going on as people recognised the possibilities for reaching out to people very much on their heart, but whom they maybe didn’t really know how to serve well.' Click for more information about Messy Vintage.


If you'd like an eight-page Anna Chaplaincy Information Pack, contact us at



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