Stephanie Packham

I joined the team at St john’s Church in 2020 as Chaplain for the Elderly, having just left a role as Children and Families Worker for a team of 6 churches in Devon. As the Covid pandemic hit, there were so many sad stories in the news about the plight of the Care Homes that it weighed on my heart. I had a growing sense that I wanted to return to my roots working with older people and to use some of the skills I had learnt as the head of the activity therapy department for Bupa Care Homes and as a development worker for Age UK.

 

So, after discussion with Rev Selina Garner, I made the step to train as a Chaplain. The Bath and Wells Chaplaincy training course really sparked my interest, so much so, that I have now also been invited to join the growing national network of Anna Chaplains for the Elderly. 

 

I am hoping to build relationships with the Care Homes in our area to offer spiritual support to residents, family and staff where needed. Spirituality is so important, particularly in the latter stages of life, as we long for a sense of purpose and belonging to the communities we find ourselves in. I am really looking forward to spending time with the residents, hearing their stories, sharing in their hopes, and being a listening ear for their frustrations. I am also keen to find ways to promote intergenerational working - initiatives that bring young and old together.