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  • Debbie Ducille

Two more commissioning services in North Wales

The national Anna Chaplaincy team has been delighted to welcome four new Anna Chaplains into the network in North Wales, this time all members of the diocese of Bangor (Church in Wales). This is in addition to the appointment of Jan Isbell in the Bangor and Holyhead Methodist Circuit just a few weeks ago, after years of faithful prayer amongst members.


Annette Evans was commissioned in a celebratory service, which took place last Sunday 19 May in Holy Trinity Church in Penrhyndeudraeth. In the pictures Annette has sent, she is shown with Revd Hilary Savage and her Ministry Area Lead Revd Roland Barnes.

Annette has shared some of her story with us:


‘As Christians, we often talk about our spiritual journeys. My journey is like many others. It has had its ups and downs, dictated by work commitments, family life and personal crises, but, for the most part, there has been a gentle moving forward, a sense of being in a safe, comfortable place, at peace with my relationship with God. Until one day last spring. One email found its way to my inbox. It was from my ministry area leader, Revd Roland Barnes. It simply said  “Think this might be just right for you.” It was an application form to attend a training course for the Anna Chaplaincy. This was to take place in St Padarns in Cardiff, and would last for four days. I had heard about Anna Chaplaincy, but I knew very little about its work. So I Googled it… Wow! Now, I am not the kind of person that attends training weekends, certainly not in a theological college with a gathering of clergy. True, I am a church warden, and I will, when absolutely necessary, lead a simple church service. I do what I can for our ministry area. I help with various church groups, and I do a little “admin” and so on, but I’m happiest just looking after our church members, and pottering around making sure everyone has what they need, and that they are happy. I sat at my laptop looking at the questions on the application form, almost daring myself to fill it in. Then I realised something… I was holding my breath. I just had to try for this. I had to leap out of my comfort zone, it just felt the right thing to do. I have recently retired from working with the elderly within the community where I witnessed every day the loneliness, sadness, fear and suffering of the housebound elderly people – those suffering from dementia, those with serious mobility issues, the list is endless. I believe the work of the Anna Chaplaincy fulfils a real need in all of our communities, whether they be Christian or otherwise. It brings comfort and hope, friendship and practical support, and spiritual care and love, whether we are working in organised community groups, friendship groups, nursing homes, hospital wards, day centres,  sheltered housing or in people’s own homes. Being able to bring to each unique elderly person what they need at this time of their lives is a privilege, and a truly joyful experience. This work is so rewarding and will hopefully bring spiritual peace to those we care for. I am so grateful to the Anna Chaplaincy training team and all the wonderful caring ladies and gentlemen who work so hard for the Anna Chaplaincy and BRF Ministries.’

Earlier in the year, a special service of commissioning took place in Bangor cathedral for the new Anna Chaplaincy team appointed there: this lovely picture shows Anna Chaplain Anne Eyre, Revd Canon Tracy Jones who acts as local coordinator, and Anna Chaplains Elma Taylor and Jane Coutts.


Congratulations to all four newly appointed chaplains: this brings the number of Anna Chaplains across Wales to 18, representing five different church denominations. This is wonderful news and is largely due to the hard work of Revd Sally Rees who was Anna Chaplaincy church lead in Wales until December 2023.

 

Watch this space for news of Anna Chaplaincy materials translated into Welsh and of another training residential focused upon Anna Chaplaincy at St Padarn’s very soon.


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