Sister Marian becomes an Anna Chaplain in Swansea
Updated: Jan 26
Sister Marian is one of a number of Anna Chaplains commissioned in different parts of the country on Sunday (23 January 2022). Sr Marian is now Anna Chaplain in the Sketty area of Swansea, South Wales. On the eve of her commissioning she described how she was drawn to this work:
It was only during the last couple of years that I learnt about the Anna Chaplains. Some other clergy friends had been commissioned and I was curious to find out more about their work.
Let me give you some background on myself.
I am a religious who has lived the single consecrated life (SCL) for 24 years. I had been married for 15 years and always very much involved in church work and activities as well as training to be a primary school teacher majoring in religious education. I was also very involved in the Samaritans.
At the age of 46, my husband had a major heart attack and passed away. I was only 36. It was after this that I was called to the religious life and went on to take my vows to live a life of commitment, consecrated to God.
In my forties I became a reader in the Church in Wales until in later life I have been ordained as a non-stipendiary priest. The pastoral side of my ministry has always been a priority for me.
My mother became bedridden and came to live with me for six years before passing away at the age of 93. Eight days later I lost my twin sister to cancer.
I became very aware of the need for the older generation to feel valued and that they mattered. I became aware of how many were alone and of their great need for support from those who could sit and listen and care about them. They needed to know they mattered.
I feel there is so much emphasis put upon encouraging the younger generation in our churches that those who have spent a lifetime in service can get lost in the striving for new members. Their great contributions often appear to be forgotten and yet they still have so much to give.
In my forties I developed a chronic condition, psoriatic arthritis and also had a slight stroke, which means I cope with pain every day and at one time it caused me to be housebound for ten years. Gradually I began to get back to church. I was ordained at the age of 68 and realised that I am in the right situation to continue to give pastoral care to the housebound and people of all ages living with some disability. I am amazed at what I am now able to do.
All people, Christian or not, can be shown the love of God and how much he values them by receiving that love from us when we listen to them and care for them, accepting them unconditionally.
This led me on to the Anna Chaplaincy training course, and I am to be commissioned on 23 January 2022.
In my daily prayers I ask our Lord to help me to serve him right up to my last breath. Even if I end up in a nursing home myself, I can continue to minister as an Anna Chaplain and perhaps be their ‘resident’ chaplain!
Please remember me in your prayers and may God bless my ministry as I share his love for us, for the rest of my life.
Many blessings with love