Anna Chaplaincy for Older People in Lowestoft
It started in 2014 and is now spreading across our country with a growing number of people who stand to benefit from Anna Chaplaincy. Pam Shaw started visiting Broadlands Residential Home when Captain Paul was amongst us and, since his departure, has taken Communion into the home to share with the residents (some of whom formerly worshipped at St. Margaret’s). In January this year, she began visiting the home once a week to talk with those residents who wished to talk to her. On April 26th, three months later than originally intended Pam was commissioned as an Anna Chaplain in our 10am service.
Here Pam writes about the Anna Chaplaincy:
We are all getting older! Currently there are more people aged 60 and over than there are under 18 in Britain, the number of people over 85 is expected to double in the next 20 years, trebling in the next 30, and as our average age gets older so we are growing in our understanding of this time in life being mentally, physically and spiritually different.
Anna Chaplaincy takes its name from Anna in the Bible who recognised and welcomed baby Jesus when his parents took him to the temple in Jerusalem. Anna means ‘grace’ and an Anna Chaplain is a gracious free offering from the church, seeking nothing specific in return, just being of service. The term ‘chaplain’ is increasingly used to describe those who meet with people where they are and on their terms – people who are not necessarily associated with the church. It is being motivated by love to reach out in love to others as a companion.
In the life of faith and of doing God’s will there is no such thing as retirement – God still has work for everyone to do and older people matter. This is at the heart of the Anna Chaplaincy – older people have so much to offer and Anna Chaplains strive to draw alongside older people, to discover their needs, hopes and aspirations and encourage them to do, and be, all that they can.
You can find out more about Anna Chaplains at https://www.annachaplaincy.org.uk
Supporting Pam is one of our missionary aims and it is something we can all do; supporting her in prayer, so please do remember to pray for her, and if you would like to join the prayer support group who pray for particular needs which Pam comes across whilst visiting the residents, please have a word with Pam.