Congratulations go to Helen Marsden, commissioned as the first Anna Chaplain in the Diocese of Lincoln to the Deanery of Louthesk. The Right Rev Dr David Court, Bishop of Grimsby, was taking a Confirmation service, at the beautiful St James' Church, Louth, confirming 5 young people as they took their next step in faith.  As part of this service, Bishop David was delighted to commission Helen to the role of Anna Chaplain, blessing the next step in her journey of faith. 

As an Anna Chaplain, Helen will be attending to the spiritual well-being of men and women in later life. As churches and communities engage with the challenges and joys of aging, Anna Chaplaincy offers a tried-and-tested way of supporting people in older age, whether they would describe themselves as people of faith or not. As an Anna Chaplain Helen will be working with the residents, staff and families of care homes in the area of Louth.

 Helen started visiting local care homes to lead community singing, ‘I think the residents sang to drown me out!’ This grew into taking monthly services, wandering round for a chat and being an extra pair of hands at outings or coffee mornings. ‘We had been trying to make what we offer older people the best that we could. Then COVID-19 hit! I kept in touch by phone but I missed the residents terribly; I gained so much energy from being with them.’

 Helen became aware of other Readers, Authorised Lay Ministers and Self-Supporting Ministers across the Diocese of Lincoln who have been exploring Anna Chaplaincy. ‘I spoke to both my incumbent and the incumbent of Louth. They stressed how well he felt I was suited to this ministry and affirmed my decision to train for Anna Chaplaincy, specialising in looking after the residents, staff and families in our care homes.’

‘As soon as the Anna Chaplaincy Head Licence agreement had been signed by the Diocesan Secretary, I attended the excellent six-session Anna Chaplaincy course, run by the Bible Reading Fellowship, at only a week’s notice!  At the same time care homes in the deanery were beginning to open up and I am back and able to visit some of them.  It’s wonderful to be back doing what I feel called by God to do.’

If you would like to know more about Anna Chaplaincy in the Diocese of Lincoln, please email: [email protected]