Studely Anna Chaplain – a first for Coventry Diocese
Debbie Ducille was delighted to take part in the commissioning service for Celia Spiers as the first Anna Chaplain in the Coventry Diocese on September 4.
‘A wonderful number of church members attended, representing the two parishes of the patch “Arden Valley and Arden Marches” who are clearly fully supportive of this new ministry and Celia herself. Revd Kate Mier, the area dean who has shared this vision, presided’, explained Debbie.
At the service, Debbie said she was able ‘to share reflections, gratitude and encouragement as to what God is doing and growing in our midst, through the extraordinary privilege of spiritually accompanying those in later life.’
We asked Celia to tell us a little more about her journey toward becoming an Anna Chaplain:
‘When I was a young child, maybe five or six years old, I remember my great-grandmother going out every Friday to go and visit her “old people”, as she called them. They loved her dearly and looked forwards to their time with her. They were in their 60s, 70s and 80s. She was 92! Over the years, I have been drawn to spending time with my own “old people”. I love discovering the hidden gems: unexpected experiences, surprising anecdotes, wise observations and cheeky quips – often unnoticed under the invisibility cloak that seems to come with age. The Lord has gently prepared me – experiencing and leading Death Cafés, volunteering in the Chaplaincy team at the local hospice, training and working as a Soul Midwife – leading me to Anna Chaplaincy. It is my delight and privilege to serve under this title: to be able to bring his love to those who can be overlooked and undervalued, to bring a new meaning at this stage in a person’s life, to enable someone to belong again. It’s wonderful to be following in my great-grandmother’s footsteps and I’m sure she would be so pleased that I am beginning this journey as an Anna Chaplain.’