Diocesan press releases

‘Inspirational’ Debbie Thrower leads Gift of Years training day

Debbie Thrower was the speaker at an information and training day for clergy and laity interested in Older People’s Ministry.

The Gift of Years conference was held at St Edmund’s Church in Crickhowell, and more than 70 people from different denominations and organisations heard about the practical Anna Chaplaincy approach to supporting older people.

The Gift of Years, founded and led by Debbie, is part of the Bible Reading Fellowship and aims to inspire, equip and enable every church across the UK to meet the spiritual needs of older people wherever they may be – in residential care, congregations, in their own homes and in the community.

At the heart of The Gift of Years is the Anna Chaplaincy model which takes its name from the faithful older characters in the second chapter of Luke’s Gospel, Simeon and Anna. Debbie was the UK’s first Anna Chaplain.

Debbie outlined a variety of community-based ways of building mission and ministry among older people and will explore strategies which celebrate the contributions of people in the second half of life.

Bishop’s Officer for Older People’s Ministry Rev Sally Rees, who organised the event, said: “I invited Debbie Thrower not just because she’s an inspirational speaker but because she’s well known and talked about Anna Chaplaincy as well as other models of ministry.

“It was been a wonderful day. There was a huge number of people from Swansea and Brecon, Llandaff and Monmouth dioceses and from across many other churches – Baptists and Methodists among them. Debbie Thrower was absolutely inspirational and we will all leave here with a greater understanding of what spiritual care in older age might look like.”

You can find out more about the Gift of Years and Anne Chaplaincy here.

For more information about Older People’s Ministry, and the resources available – including a Gift of Years DVD – contact Rev Sally at sallyrees50@gmail.com