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  • Debbie Thrower

We present this Sunday's Church of England online service - focusing on care homes

Updated: Oct 8


We're looking forward to seeing ministry in care homes given a boost in this Sunday's Church of England online service on 11 October 11 2020.


In Southampton, and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) cameraman Adrian Serecut and I joined Anna Chaplaincy network member, City Chaplain for Older People, Canon Dr Erica Roberts, who's one of the few people allowed in to Lawnbrook care home to offer comfort and say prayers at the end of life.

Debbie Thrower and City Chaplain for older People, Erica Roberts, at a Southampton care home

We interviewed Joan Wedge, who only moved in a few months ago and has had to make do with seeing her son outside when he visits and speaking through a fence. 'It makes you feel like you're in prison,' she said.


It's been a hard time for her selling her home in Felixstowe, Suffolk, to move nearer her son. 'All the staff have been very kind and everyone's very nice,' she added. But she said giving away her possessions had been 'a strange feeling' and the Covid-19 restrictions had not made the process any easier.

We also captured footage of our Anna Chaplains in Southampton preparing packs for delivery to those who join in their local version of Messy Vintage, called 'Vintage Adventure'. Numbers taking part have risen from 30 to 120 during the pandemic.

Debbie Gurling, Anna Chaplain in Sparkhill, Birmingham

The service features well-known hymns, readings and prayers. Birmingham Anna Chaplain Debbie Gurling reads from Philippians 4, and intercessions are led from Kent by the Revd Colin Terry who leads the Heart of Kent Hospice Anna Chaplaincy team, and our own Church Lead, Julia Burton-Jones.


This has proved such an opportunity to share with people a part of the church that's often overlooked. I'm honoured, as the founder and pioneer of Anna Chaplaincy, to speak up on behalf of the four per cent of the population who live in care homes and who are facing such difficulties because of Covid-19. It's also a chance to thank all the care staff who are going the extra mile during this pandemic. Watch the service from 9.00 am this Sunday 11 October. It will remain available to watch again at a later date for some time.

Welcoming viewers to the service - Debbie Thrower, founder and pioneer of Anna Chaplaincy for Older People

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