Message from our new Anna Chaplain

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I have been asked to write a short article about myself. In case I have not met you yet, I am the new Anna Chaplain taking the place of Helen Jesty.

I live in Farnham with my husband Tim, a musician by trade and we have three grown up sons, Matthew, Peter and Isaac. We both attended Holy Trinity Church Aldershot from birth (my father was churchwarden, Tim's father was organist and my mother was an LLM) and married there in 1981. I trained as a nurse at St Thomas' Hospital London and finally gave up nursing last summer. Somewhere along the way I took a BSc in my spare time. It was a relief from motherhood, perhaps.

I took a very long time to realise that God was calling me to ordination, but he seemed to take it in small steps, calling me to lead the Christian Union at school, a mother and toddler group at Holy Trinity (still running after 34 years), and to train as a Pastoral Assistant. Finally, I got the message that he wanted me to be ordained and I started training at STETS in Salisbury in 2008.

Our eldest son, Matthew was a very difficult person to live with, as he has Asperger Syndrome and, latterly epilepsy. We never know what he is going to do next, which has given me empathy for anyone who lives with someone 'different'. Years of spending time with older people, and especially those with dementia has given me some insight into the pain and suffering involved, not to mention the grief and exhaustion.

I served my curacy at Wrecclesham (Farnham) and then did a ten-month secondment at St Alban's Hindhead and Manormead Nursing Home for retired clergy. The latter would make an excellent plot for a sitcom if I dared to write it. It seems that God has taken me on a journey that has led me to Alton and Anna Chaplaincy even though it was not what I planned at all. Events that seemed to be a disaster and failure turned out to be fruitful learning. I wonder what will happen next?

You are invited to the my licensing service to the Parish of the Resurrection and as Anna Chaplain for Alton, on Sunday 21st May 2017 6.30pm at St Lawrence Church, Alton. This will be conducted by the Rt Revd David Williams, Bishop of Basingstoke

Rachel Sturt--Anna Chaplain

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