Faith, hope and love for the older generation

24 NOV 2020

An Allchurches’ Hope Beyond grant is helping to build a network of chaplains in Gloucestershire, to support older people through COVID-19 and beyond.

COVID-19 has shown that there is a great need and demand for older people in hospital and care homes to receive spiritual support. Many of these people have been isolated, with their family and chaplains unable to visit them. This has prevented the older generation receiving the positivity, companionship, interaction, and comfort that they require, especially during this challenging period.

A Hope Beyond grant of £6,100 from Allchurches Trust has enabled CaBiC - an interdenominational charity set up to support and coordinate ministry to older people - to set the wheels in motion for a network of interdenominational chaplains, who will provide spiritual care and friendship to older people in the areas of Cheltenham and Bishop's Cleeve. This starts with the appointment of Gill Ford, who will lead this Cheltenham-based network of ‘Anna Chaplains’.

Anna Chaplaincy is a national, inclusive, community-based and person-centred approach to supporting older people, together with their families and carers, both spiritually and pastorally. 

Allchurches’ recent Hope Beyond research highlighted that churches believe isolation and loneliness will be the biggest need in the community looking to the year ahead, with the older generation often more likely to experience isolation and loneliness. With this in mind, CaBiC and the Anna Chaplaincy are addressing a very real need in their local area.

Reverend Brian Dunlop, Chair of CaBiC said: “We are thrilled and excited by Gill’s appointment. She brings experience and energy, which will enable us to significantly step up the support we offer older people in Cheltenham and Bishop’s Cleeve.
“This has been made possible by generous grants from Allchurches Trust and the LIFE Development fund - we are enormously grateful to them both for their kindness and support.  These grants will now enable us to deliver much-needed pastoral support and comfort to the local older generation, so that they feel less vulnerable, cared for, and assured that they have someone there with them, to share their wonderful life memories, concerns or thoughts and feelings, resulting in a more positive and therapeutic life outlook.”  
Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, added: “We’re delighted that our Hope Beyond grant is helping to address the increasing issue of isolation and loneliness in older people, exacerbated by the pandemic. This appointment and a growing network of chaplains, will make a huge difference to people’s lives at a time when their need is greatest, bringing comfort and companionship.”
There are lots of opportunities to join the rapidly growing Anna Chaplaincy network. If you would like to find out more about joining the team or provide support, visit or email
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