Together with our sister church in St. Albans, Hatfield Road Methodist Church, we are embarking on two exciting projects:
We aim to establish a Gift of Years Anna Chaplaincy in the city in order to share God’s love with the elderly wherever they may be: in residential care, in congregations, in their own homes and in the community. Such a chaplaincy will be an ecumenical appointment and will build on existing relationships between churches and residential homes as well as nurture new ones.
Linked to the Bible Fellowship’s Gift of Years network, the full time Anna Chaplain will model a form of Chaplaincy that meets the spiritual needs of older people – including those with dementia – and to establish a team of ecumenical volunteers (Anna Friends). Recruited and trained by the Anna Chaplain, the Anna Friends will support the Anna Chaplain in the expansion of the chaplaincy in breadth and depth, and, crucially, will make a major contribution towards ensuring sustainability beyond the five years of the grant. The Anna Chaplaincy will begin in the areas local to the two churches but will expand across St. Albans where there are 10 care homes and numerous sheltered and independent living locations.
Children and Families Worker
Working in partnership with the presbyters, a management committee and lay volunteers, the Children and Families Worker will have responsibility for creating and strengthening relationships with local children, young people and their families. The CFW will encourage them to start and continue a journey into faith. He or she will help them find ways of expressing that faith through appropriate activities, worship and being part of the church family either in the conventional understanding of what this means or as a Fresh Expression of Church.
Both projects are subject to our raising money from our two congregations and from other sympathetic funders. We hope the projects can both start in the Spring of 2020.