The Bible Reading Fellowship Enabling all ages to grow in faith

Discovering purpose after retirement

Many of those involved in our ministries are finding new purpose in their calling after retirement, proving that it’s never too late to be useful to God and his family.  

New Anna Chaplains

We heard recently from three retired women who had recently joined the growing network of Anna Chaplains, ministering to older people in their churches and communities.

Take Irene Shepherd, a former NHS medical secretary and local preacher in the Methodist Church who has recently become the first Anna Chaplain in the North Kent Methodist Circle.

‘God can be very persistent. He never leaves you out in the cold – if there’s something he wants you to do, he will equip you for it.’

Irene Shepherd, Anna Chaplain

Then there’s former teacher and local lay leader Margaret Tate from Cumbria. She’s another example of how God had used her experiences – including the challenging time looking after her mother with dementia – to fulfil his purposes in her as an Anna Chaplain.

This past year I have felt that God had a new plan for me. In January, Anna Chaplaincy kept coming at me from several directions. And here we are!

Margaret Tate, Anna Chaplain

Sue Yeo has also found a new identity later in life. Sue had trained as a worship leader, and been involved in both hospital chaplaincy work and visiting local care homes for 18 years. She explains the difference that the completing the online Anna Chaplaincy course and being licenced as an Anna Chaplain in Maidstone has given her:

At times I have felt quite alone, I didn’t come across others involved in this way. Often when I went into homes I would be welcomed by the residents, but sometimes not so much by the staff: who exactly was I? I wasn’t a curate, so why exactly was I taking the service? Anna Chaplaincy has given me an identity, and a whole lot of new friends who I can share my experiences with.

Sue Yeo, Anna Chaplain
Sue Yeo, Anna Chaplain

Volunteering post retirement

Martyn Payne is well known to many as a former BRF Messy Church team member. Since retirement he’s been volunteering in various ways for BRF including as prayer advocate – writing our prayer diary and regular prayers for our social media channels and other communications.

I have been fortunate in my life to do jobs which I loved, but that’s not always the case for people and so to discover an outlet for ‘the good works that we were created to do from the beginning’, as Paul puts it in Ephesians 2:10, is a privilege not to be missed.

Martyn Payne, BRF prayer advocate and Messy Church volunteer