A new network of chaplains in Cheltenham and Bishop’s Cleeve is planned, to provide older people in hospitals and care homes with spiritual support. During the Covid-19 crisis, many of these people have been isolated, with their family and chaplains unable to visit them. This has prevented the older generation receiving the positivity, companionship, interaction, and comfort that they require, especially during this difficult period.
Anna Chaplaincy is a national, inclusive, community-based and person-centred approach to supporting older people, together with their families and carers, both spiritually and pastorally. Gill Ford has been appointed to lead the Anna Chaplaincy in the local area and will now work to build a strong network of chaplains and supporters, to provide this vital, positive, support to the older generation.
Gill is a part-time law lecturer at UWE and has many years’ experience of supporting older people at both The Silver Line Helpline and the Friends for You project. She has also helped to organise services and support sessions for older people at Holy Apostles Church in Cheltenham, where she worships.
This has been made possible by CaBiC, an interdenominational charity, which has been set up to support and coordinate ministry to older people in the local area. CaBiC Chair the Revd Brian Dunlop said, “We are thrilled and excited by Gill’s appointment. Gill brings experience and energy, which will enable us to significantly step up what we offer in Cheltenham and Bishop’s Cleeve.
“Gill’s appointment has been made possible by generous grants from the All Churches Trust and the LIFE Development fund – we are enormously grateful to them both for their kindness and support. These grants will now enable us to deliver much-needed pastoral support and comfort to the local older generation, so that they feel less vulnerable, cared for, and assured that they have someone there with them, to share their wonderful life memories, concerns or thoughts and feelings, resulting in a more positive and therapeutic life outlook.”
There will be plenty of opportunities to join the rapidly-growing Anna Chaplaincy network. If you would like to find out more about joining the team or would like to support CaBiC please visit www.cabic.co.uk or email .