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Home  >  News  >  Webinar Explores Chaplaincy to Older People


Webinar Explores Chaplaincy to Older People

Tuesday September 21 2021

Anna Chaplain Helen Jesty (right) with June Atkins

An Edinburgh charity is hoping to encourage churches to appoint chaplains specifically to minister to older people in their congregations and beyond.

Faith in Older People is highlighting the work of Anna Chaplains, who work with people who are post-retirement. A webinar will be held on Tuesday next week with broadcaster Debbie Thrower, who founded the concept.

Named after the widow Anna in Luke’s Gospel, Anna Chaplaincy is a ministry of Christian charity BRF, Bible Reading Fellowship who have a vision ‘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.’

Already there is a network of 170 Anna Chaplains (and others in equivalent roles) nationwide. Some are paid and some volunteers. The work includes ministry in care homes and other settings where older people live or gather.

Next week’s meeting will highlight opportunities in Scotland, particularly in the wake of the disproportionate numbers of people in older age who have suffered throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The aim is to plan ways forward as both charities seek to enable better understanding of the importance of the spiritual dimension to the well-being of older people.

Debbie Thrower is a former journalist and broadcaster, and Church of England licensed lay minister. She developed Anna Chaplaincy for Older People in Alton, Hampshire from 2010. She says: “This webinar is a chance for people to hear more and explore how this model would work in their own area. Anna Chaplains are there for people of strong, little or no faith at all.”

The webinar is on September 28 at 2.30pm, and is free. To book a place, contact Faith in Older People on or 0131 346 7981


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