Surrey village of Bookham officially launches its Anna Chaplaincy team
Updated: Jan 28
A lot of time, care and hard work has gone into launching Bookham Anna Chaplaincy in Surrey. From BRF, coordinator Alex Burn joined the celebrations last Sunday. She was thrilled to have the pleasure of being asked to join the commissioning service at Bookham Baptist Church, Surrey on 23 January and reports that ‘an incredible team of one Anna Chaplaincy and ten Anna Friends were commissioned that afternoon.’
The church was a hive of activity as she arrived, as Anna Friends were busily signing their sub-licenses and having photos taken for name badges. More than 60 people joined them for an uplifting ecumenical service. There was so much warmth, encouragement and enthusiasm from everyone for the new team.
Elaine Crutchley, the Anna Chaplaincy coordinator locally, reminded everyone of the journey they had all been on during the last four years and how they had kept the vision alive during the pandemic (see an earlier blog all about it).
She warmly thanked the Anna Chaplaincy local working group, the charity The Meeting Place where they are based, BRF for all the practical support and encouragement and, most importantly, Anne Milton-Mossell for agreeing to be their Anna Chaplain and for the ten more who are joining her to become the Anna Friends team .
Their heart is very much in reaching out to the lonely in their local community, and so a telephone befriending service has begun for the over 65s and, already, they are making links across the community, for example, in the area of social prescribing.
Elaine explained they had chosen the Sunday of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for the service, as the churches in and around Bookham truly do work ecumenically, and so practically, together. This was shown when the ministers from local churches prayed together for the future of the work.
Steve Elmes, from Bookham Baptist Church, welcomed and hosted the service, and the commissioning was led by Revd Alan Jenkins, Rector of St Nicolas Church.
Alex gave a talk on the national picture and thanked the new Anna Chaplaincy team for responding to God’s call to a new chapter of discipleship and service… and in the best Anna Chaplaincy tradition, this memorable service of celebration concluded with tea and homemade cake!