Adventures in Faith

Scottish Episcopal Church welcomes its first Anna Chaplain

On Sunday February 4 2024 the congregation of Holy Trinity in Haddington celebrated and recognised the beginning of a new ministry in the town! This took place within the service of Candlemas, the time of year when the characters of Simeon and Anna are remembered.  Taking its name from within the story of Candlemas, Judith Wilkinson was commissioned as an Anna Chaplain to the specified area of Haddington. She is only the second Anna Chaplain in Scotland and the very first within the Scottish Episcopal Church! How wonderful is that!

Anna Chaplaincy (AC) falls within the umbrella of the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) which launched its AC programme in 2014. Anna Chaplaincy is about nurturing spirituality in its broadest sense. It aims to provide a non-judgmental, person-centred spiritual care for older people of strong, little or no faith at all and in all faiths. Judith’s commissioning and calling has grown out of many years of voluntary pastoral ministry to the people of Holy Trinity.  She has willingly and with love given of herself by visiting the sick, calling on the housebound, bringing the sacrament to those in hospital and those unable to come to church, and hosted many informal lunches where people can chat and get to know one another better.  This new ministry can easily be seen as an extension to what Judith already does, whilst encompassing it within a more formal setting. 

In the summer, following her attendance at a talk about Anna Chaplaincy at the Cathedral Judith began to discern whether this ministry was for her. She was supported in this by her Rector, Rev Liz O’Ryan and Rev Canon John Lindsay. After some time of discussion and prayer Judith undertook the online AC training course which included six sessions and extensive reading.  Once the course was complete a Head License Agreement has been created between BRF and Holy Trinity, Haddington and a consequent Sub-License Agreement was signed between  Holy Trinity and Judith. From this Judith will be sent, with the support of all at Holy Trinity, to work in one or two Care Homes, with a working agreement in place.  This agreement will be reviewed and regular meetings will ensue to give ongoing support and to celebrate her ministry.

This is such an exciting new venture for Holy Trinity and for Haddington. It is hoped that more churches within the SEC will be encouraged to engage with Anna Chaplaincy so that a network of Chaplains can and will emerge.

For more details on Anna Chaplaincy:

Or phone: 01865 319700.