In July, Wendy Haslam was commissioned as an Anna Chaplain at Wells Cathedral. Wendy will also hold the honorary position of Anna Chaplaincy lead for the Diocese of Bath and Wells, coordinating what is hoped to become a growing ecumenical network of Anna Chaplains in the area.
Explaining how she became an Anna Chaplain, Wendy said, "During lockdown I heard a piece on BBC Radio 4 about Anna Chaplaincy. Something went ‘yes’ in my heart. I wanted to know more. As a Reader, I had become aware of the needs of older people in the congregation but felt that I was lacking in knowledge. I had done training in so many areas in the church – but this was something new and exciting for me. Having done my research and talked to our lead person for pastoral care, I tentatively asked if I could do the Anna Chaplaincy training. I was an enthusiastic trainee, taking full advantage of all that was offered."
She added, "This is a challenging new step in my ministry. It will be a privilege to help older people reflect on their spiritual journey and to act as an advocate for the needs of older people in church and beyond."
Wendy's role as Anna Chaplain will be based at Wells Cathedral.
What is Anna Chaplaincy?
Anna Chaplaincy seeks to accompany and be with older people of all faiths, cultures and spiritualities in their later years. It is person-centred and offers spiritual care to all. Anna Chaplaincy is a rapidly growing network, enabling and inspiring ministry with older people, within and beyond the churches.
The skills of an Anna Chaplain
An Anna Chaplain will be able to explore the spirituality of ageing, be an advocate in the community for older people and enable conversations about funerals, death and dying.
With those over 85 set to double in 20 years and treble in 30 years, the vision is to see an Anna Chaplain in every small and medium-sized community in the country, and for the Anna Chaplain name to become synonymous with spiritual care for older people.
How do you find out more about Anna Chaplaincy?
Are you called to be with older people and to offer spiritual care? Discover more about Anna Chaplaincy.
Whatever your context, if you are interested in exploring Anna Chaplaincy, please email Wendy.
For a wider conversation about Chaplaincy contact Mike Haslam, Chaplaincy Adviser for the Diocese of Bath and Wells.