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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Service in a garden update...

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Anna Chaplaincy coordinator, David Cooke, reports on a morning at a care home in Westhampnett, West Sussex, well spent.

He and Anna Chaplain, LouLou Morris, plus two Anna Friends, set up in the garden socially distanced but within sight and hearing of a group of residents, most of whom they know well from previous visits pre-lockdown.


The parable of the lost sheep

Here are photos taken at our garden service this morning. It was a bit breezy, but the sun was out for most of the time.

There are others photos, taken by the care home manager, which include images of us cavorting in a drama based on the parable of the lost sheep. I have not seen these photos and hope they never see the light of day, since the drama involved my dressing up as the wayward sheep, and flopping around on the lawn, baa-ing as I went!

LouLou, on the other hand, who does the casting, stayed sane as the shepherd. Funny, that…

The other facing figures are two of our wonderful Anna Friends, both called Mary.

Lovely to be back

In all we had eight in attendance, and it was lovely to be back on site and with staff members who were also very pleased to see us. Immediately after the service, the manager encouraged us to return as soon as possible, which also greatly encouraged us.

One reason we could hold this service is because all of our congregation, several of whom are living with dementia, are wheelchair users and so could not breach social distancing even if they wanted to. That is not the position at two of our other local homes, where some of our befriended are ambulatory and would instantly approach and touch us if there was no barrier.

When we arrived, there was a visitor in the garden, waiting for a new resident to be brought outside for a chat. We played 'Amazing Grace' as a prelude to our service and her eyes welled up as she told me that this was the 10th anniversary of her mother's death, who had loved that hymn. Instant connection.

David Cooke, Coordinator, Chichester Anna Chaplaincy, 3 July 2020



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