Summer’s Here

25th July 2023

The summer holiday season is almost upon us, even if the weather hasn’t been as good in July as we enjoyed in May and June. 

On 23rd July at St Mary’s we took the opportunity of celebrating the work and ministry of our four Anna Chaplains. Anna Chaplaincy has grown in national significance over the last 10 years from its early days in Alton, Hampshire. It is best described as the spiritual ministry to older people and often takes the form of journeying alongside people, ministering to their spiritual needs and assisting them to find God in what can be a challenging season of life’s journey.

We originally commissioned 4 Anna Chaplains in October 2017 at St Mary’s Chapel. Of course, the Covid pandemic had a large impact on their work and ministry but just recently, due to the wider work of the Ann Chaplaincy Network, there has been a resurgence in this ministry across the country and I’m delighted that we here in the Worthys have a strong team that is making a difference, so it is good to publically acknowledge this.

Speaking of being equipped for the work we are called to do, I was privileged to visit Treloar’s College along with others from the parish who are involved in the CHERISH programme. You’ll remember that we announced this programme at the APCM as a means through which we will re-look at all aspects of church life through the word Cherish, where each letter stands for a specific attribute. The letter I stands for Inclusivity – so it was in this context that Stephen Golding facilitated our visit with students just ahead of his retirement from the College as their Chaplain after 5 years.

I, along with others were very impressed and moved by what we saw and shared in. We received a presentation from a group of young students entitled ‘Let Me In’ which seeks to raise awareness and address issues of accessibility and hidden discrimination in building and public settings. They have been working with the likes of Sainsbury’s, Microsoft and The Ivy and have helped them consider what it’s like to be treated differently because of a failure to make appropriate provision for their needs.  The Bible says that we are made ‘in the image of God’ – we saw a very precious and special aspect of that image on Monday afternoon, one that is largely hidden from us, but perhaps one that we need to open up to and be more aware of than ever before.

Whether you’re getting your buckets and spades ready or planning a staycation – go well, stay safe and may you know God’s presence with you. We are with and for you over the summer, so please be in contact if needed.  

God bless you,
Revd Paul