Care home residents get bags of Easter joy

Published: Friday April 23, 2021

CaBiC- Anna Chaplaincy in Cheltenham and Bishop’s Cleeve has been brightening care home residents’ days by sending out more than 1000 gift bags containing knitted crosses, Easter cards and Easter eggs.

Care home residents have been isolated from much of the outside world for the past year and have not had their usual visits from churches.

After an appeal to knitters throughout the area, CaCiC received more than 1000 knitted crosses, which were delivered with an Easter card and Easter eggs to almost all the care homes in the area.

The Revd Brian Dunlop, Chair of CaBiC said, “We had anticipated that we would receive 2 or 3 hundred crosses, but the response was overwhelming, and crosses kept arriving in bags and boxes, until they took over one room of our Anna Coordinator, Gill Ford.

“With financial help from Allchurches Trust’s  Hope Beyond fund, we bought hundreds of Easter cards and eggs and bags for them to go in. Gill then delivered the bags to the care homes where they were received with much pleasure.

“This project has provided many of our knitters with something really purposeful to do during lockdown and they, as a result, have blessed many residents. For CaBiC it has been a wonderful launch for our ministry of spiritual and pastoral support for older people. We look forward to expanding our ministry as lock down eases.”

One care home coordinator said, “’Thank you so much for the gift bags, which we gave to residents this afternoon. They were all absolutely delighted, with many ‘ oh, how kind’ comments. The softness of the crosses meant that they could be held and cherished, and the skill in making them was commented on by a number of residents.”

Another said “’What a fantastic, thoughtful idea”. We have also had responses from individuals indicating the comfort and spiritual support they received from the crosses.

Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities and gave more than £23 million to churches, charities and communities in 2020. Its funds come from its ownership of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

CaBiC  is a local charity, which is part of the national Anna Chaplaincy network, which in turn is part of the Bible Reading Fellowship. The charity is actively seeking Anna Chaplains and Anna Friends to grow its work. More details can be found at

The photo shows delivery to Monkscroft Care home, which is run by the Order of St John.

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