On Saturday 30th September, over 45 people from a wide geographical area and of different denominations, eagerly gathered to hear Debbie Thrower talk about the work of Anna Chaplaincy and BRF's "the Gift of Years -- resourcing ministry among those rich in age and experience"
Starting only 7 years ago in Alton, North East Hampshire, Debbie was the first ever Anna Chaplain and now spearheads 'The Gift of Years' initiative for BRF, whilst still actively being hands on as an Anna Chaplain in Alton on alternate Mondays and Tuesdays.
Keith Underhill, who was Debbie's line manager when he too was in Alton, (in fact he was one of three people who interviewed Debbie for the job!), introduced Debbie to those present and gave something of the background to what has been an incredible journey for this innovative and exciting ministry.
Debbie then explained and un-packed the various threads that run through Anna Chaplaincy and ministry with those rich in age and experience in four thought provoking and stimulating sessions.
Introduction: Why bother? The story of Anna Chaplaincy, how it fits with The Gift of Years and The Bible Reading Fellowship, BRF, and the national context...
What's good about getting older? Does God lose interest in us as we age? An introduction to the Spirituality of Ageing...
Anna Chaplaincy in practice- making connections, beginning to really know a 'patch' and meet local needs
Supporting people living with dementia and their carers. Resources, and question time.
It was an inspiring day and we hope, the beginning of establishing Anna Chaplaincy is this part of South Oxfordshire.
If you'd like further information, then Debbie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details about the gift of years, please click on this link www.thegiftofyears.org.uk
As part of the Circuit's commitment to Chaplaincy and building on the great work of Libby & Sarah, our two community chaplains working on GWP, there will be a short 4-week course based on the Methodist Church's 'Chaplaincy Everywhere', for those who are interested in exploring chaplaincy for themselves, either as potential Community or Anna chaplains/volunteers or friends, or who simply want to know more.
This will be Bible study, group discussion and an opportunity to think about engaging in God's mission through chaplaincy. We will explore the ministry of being a "guest" in the local community.
This will be led by Rev Keith Underhill & Rev Katherine Pickering and will take place at Didcot Methodist Church -- from 7.30-9.00pm on Thursday 9th 16th 23rd Nov & 7th Dec