Exploring Anna Chaplaincy

Date: 27th September 2021

Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Location: Flourish House, Wells

The Diocese of Bath and Wells are hosting a study day to explore Anna Chaplaincy.  A Network of Anna Chaplains across the UK is providing spiritual care for older people of strong little or no faith, on behalf of their local church. 

Anna Chaplaincy is part of The Bible Reading Fellowship and was pioneered by the Methodist and Anglican Churches in Alton in Hampshire when they appointed former broadcaster and licensed lay minister Debbie Thrower as their first chaplain to older people in 2011.  There is more information at Anna Chaplaincy | The Bible Reading Fellowship | Oxfordshire

The Diocese of Bath and Wells is the oldest diocese in the country, demographically, and our churches have the oldest average age of any diocese in the church of England. 

The Somerset NHS End of Life group has recently agreed that every person in the county has a right to spiritual care at the end of life and we are growing chaplaincy in care homes.  The Diocese of Bath and Wells is also exploring focal ministry to particular communities, ranging from villages to schools to care homes.

We believe that these threads come together to make this a good time to explore Anna Chaplaincy.

The study day on 27 September will be an opportunity to share experiences of ministry alongside older people and to learn about the distinctive contribution of Anna Chaplains to spiritual care in later life.  What are the implications for churches of many more people living into what has been called ‘the fourth age’ of life?  What are the social and spiritual implications of this longevity?  How can churches honour older people in their congregation and community, inviting them to share the wisdom of later life and continuing to offer support and care when frailty and dementia become a lived reality?  How might Anna Chaplaincy help parishes maintain a clearer focus on older people’s issues and convey a message to their communities that older people matter?

If you would like to join us for the day please email Allie White


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