Resourcing the spiritual journey of older people

Anna Chaplains commissioned in Newcastle

The new Anna Chaplains in Newcastle

The new Anna Chaplains in Newcastle

We’re delighted to announce that Anna Chaplaincy has reached the north-east of England. No fewer than twelve Anna Chaplains were commissioned on Sunday 17 February at Newcastle’s St Nicholas Cathedral.

The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Revd Christine Hardman, led the ecumenical service to commission seven Anglicans from Newcastle, as well as another from Durham Diocese on behalf of the Bishop of Durham. Church leaders from Methodist, Baptist and Hexham Community churches also commissioned members of their own congregations.

Bishop Christine Hardman commissions the Anna Chaplains

Bishop Christine Hardman commissions the Anna Chaplains

Most of the Newcastle contingent were Readers (or Licensed Lay Ministers, LLMs) many of whom, with others, had successfully completed a Spiritual Care Course. 

Anna Chaplains were described as mainly working ‘in care homes or in their community with older people whose lives are challenged through dementia, physical restrictions or isolation as well as being a chaplain to their families and to staff.’ 

Lynne Craggs, a Reader who has done so much to spearhead development of Anna Chaplaincy in the area since BRF’s Debbie Thrower and Alex Burn first gave an information day there in spring 2016, said it had been ‘a wonderful service, well-attended by family and friends of those being commissioned. The music from Newcastle Chamber Choir was uplifting and the commissioning service, designed by Canon Clare McClaren, very moving.’

The service at St Nicholas Cathedral

The service at St Nicholas Cathedral

 All those commissioned now become members of the national network. They are:

Newcastle Anglican Diocese

  • Christina Malvern
  • Lynda Padgett
  • Vivienne Sommerville
  • Margaret Weaver 
  • Pam Nobbs
  • Jackie Thompson
  • Janice Robinson
  • Joan Grenfell

Durham Diocese

  • Karen Abbott

Hexham Community Church

  • Jacky Males

Baptist Church

  • Viv Charlton

Methodist Church

  • John Morley

Joan Grenfell

Joan Grenfell

Joan Grenfell, for example, is based at St George’s Church, Jesmond. Fifteen people from the care home where she ministers came to the service to support her as she was commissioned as their new Anna Chaplain. Click here to read Joan's inspiring account of the work she has been called to undertake.

Two days later, in Newcastle, a network meeting was held in the city for others also interested. Lynne Craggs explained how more than 40 people attended ‘and conversations flowed, as more people want to know about Anna Chaplaincy’.

The network meeting in Newcastle following the commissioning

The network meeting in Newcastle following the commissioning

The network meeting in Newcastle following the commissioning

The network meeting in Newcastle following the commissioning

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