Anna Chaplaincy Update

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The Anna Chaplaincy, born out of the Greater Alton Partnership (GAP) between the Anglican and Methodist Churches, goes from strength to strength. Helen Jesty has been in post since May last year. She and Debbie have been joined in the last seven weeks by Jonathan Rooke who offers one day a week on a Friday. He is a Licensed Lay Minister in Training and lives in Alton but worships in Four Marks. He is coming to do a placement soon in The Parish of the Resurrection.

Jonathan, along with Debbie and Helen, spends time at The Lawn, Borovere and Marlfield, often in the Dementia Wings. Debbie and Helen also spend time at Brendoncare, as well as at other places in Alton where there is sheltered housing like Orchard House. Helen has followed on from Debbie taking a Communion Service at Berehurst in the home of some residents there. We also visit many people in their own homes, offering Holy Communion where this is requested. We often pop in to visit people in the Community Hospital. We enjoy strong links with the Hard of Hearing Club, Open Sight Club and many other groups working with and for older people in Alton.

Debbie and Helen met recently to set priorities for the coming year and to check that we are meeting the criteria for the current Methodist Connexion Funding that has been given to us for three years. We will discuss this with Keith who, with Andrew Micklefield, is planning a meeting with the three of us and Karen Booker, who heads up the Methodist Church Family Visitors and with Peta Sutherland, who heads up the Parish of the Resurrection's Pastoral visitors. We all share in this work and want to support each other. Debbie's work with The Bible Reading Fellowship's initiative called 'The Gift of Years' continues to develop. It has Anna Chaplaincy at its heart. Debbie is one of the team producing Bible Reflections for frail older people that are being trialled in Alton, among other places. Debbie is also creating The Gift of Years website, with lots of information about Anna Chaplaincy at its core. An interview with Debbie for the website was filmed locally in Beech. All three of us are involved in contributing to a new Reflective Evaluation Tool that is being developed for Anna Chaplains.

We are privileged to be involved in this work and rejoice in all that God is doing.

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