The Gift of Years seeks ‘to resource the spiritual journey of older people.’ The ubiquitous word ‘journey’ may be over-used today, but it is, nevertheless, an accurate metaphor for the process of ageing.
This is a day to explore the surprising nature of growing older. To seek ways of speaking about spirituality, in later life particularly, which make sense for those of strong, little or no religious faith. To try and articulate the inchoate longings of those without a ready vocabulary to express their own individual spirituality. How might faith make a difference to the way we approach the challenges of ageing which are common to all?
Together we’ll inch towards a better understanding of the changes, adaptations, and liminal experiences which make for a successful transition from the, so-called, Third and Fourth Ages, and in some cases achieve a degree of transcendence. Gerotranscendence is another contemporary phrase appearing more frequently. We’ll unpack what it might mean to be ‘growing while going.’
DEBBIE THROWER is team leader of BRF’s programme supporting older people ‘The Gift of Years’. She is also an Anna Chaplain to Older People. A former broadcaster, Debbie is a Lay Canon and member of Winchester Cathedral Chapter. She’s interested, pastorally, in using the narrative of people's lives to seek meaning and purpose, and to foster hope.