Chaplain David Fanning with resident Ralf Swain.
Chaplain David Fanning with resident Ralf Swain. Renee Pilcher

Blue Care appoints new chaplain

GIVING spiritual guidance to older people is a two-way street, says new Blue Care chaplain David Fanning.

Reverend Fanning was officially inducted into the new position yesterday and said he looked forward to fulfilling his busy and rewarding role.

He said he enjoyed being available on behalf of the church to help people in their times of need and on the other hand, he said there was much to be learned by speaking with the older members of the community.

“I’m just overcome by the amount of wisdom older people have – they are wonderful (sources of knowledge),” Rev Fanning told The Gympie Times yesterday.

Rev Fanning, 61, has been a minister with the Uniting Church for 34 years and for the past 10, has been the presbytery minister for the Mary-Burnett district.

His role was to care for Uniting Church ministers and their families living between Bundaberg and the Glasshouse Mountains.

He’s had a fair bit of involvement with Blue Care too.

“One of my roles was to find new chaplains and now I am one myself,” he said.

“After being in a management role for the past 10 years, I have taken a new direction.”

Rev Fanning’s role will be a varied one, as the official Blue Care Chaplain for Blue Care’s residential, community care and respite care services in the Gympie area.

He will also be the chaplain for Cooroy Blue Care and relocated from Bli Bli to Black Mountain for convenience.

Blue Care has 35 chaplains across its residential, community and respite services in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Blue Care’s chaplaincy services offer support to residents, clients, their families, volunteers and staff in areas such as spiritual care, emotional care, bereavement support and education.

Support is offered to all people regardless of personal belief, liaising with all denominations, spiritual and cultural groups.

Besides his chaplaincy role, Rev Fanning is researching adult Christian education with the purpose of training smaller congregations, that don’t have a minister, to look after themselves.

“That’s quite a few around Australia. (The findings) have come out of my work in the last few years.

“Small regional communities can’t afford to have them and people are opting to do things part-time more and more.”

Rev Fanning has two daughters in their 30s living in Melbourne and Brisbane. His wife Susan teaches at Nambour Special School.

Gympie Times


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