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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Sixty people attend workshop 'Celebrating Age'

In the birthplace of Anna Chaplaincy, we've been holding annual services celebrating older people for many years now. Usually the Hampshire town of Alton's such services have a central theme - it might be Gratitude, Contentment, A Quiet Mind, or The Journey of Life, for instance - lots of familiar hymns, sometimes some interviews with older people recounting interesting aspects of their lives, and always a slap up tea afterwards!

So it was no surprise that so many members of the network wanted to take part in an online free workshop this week, entitled ‘Celebrating Age’.

Julia Burton-Jones, BRF’s Anna Chaplaincy training and development lead, drew together expertise from across the network, including ministry supporters Martyn Payne (BRF Ministries' Prayer Advocate) and Gill Sakakini (Anglican Pioneer Priest in the Arts) in a two-hour interactive session.

Many Anna Chaplains already offer an annual worship service that celebrates older people and older people’s ministry, including Anna Chaplaincy. Candlemas in January/February is an obvious choice in the Anglican tradition, for example, with its focus on Simeon and Anna. Others prefer to hold their annual service in the lighter summer months.

By drawing together shared wisdom and resources on prayer, communication, advertising and visual arts, in this way, we hope that more churches across the country will choose to honour ‘the gift of years’ in their calendar each year.

It might also be a good opportunity to not just raise the profile of Anna ministry but also to raise funds! Churches with their own Anna Chaplains might consider splitting proceeds locally and with BRF Ministries? After all, it is the engine of this work across the UK. We rely on donations to support the network centrally, in just such ways as providing popular online themed workshops.

Do remember to let us know about the special services you hold as we always love to blog about them and share photos...




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