The Anam Cara Community was inaugurated as a contemplative prayer community of the Anglican Diocese of Gippsland in 2007.

Anam Cara

The words ‘anam cara’ (sometimes ‘anamcara’ or ‘anamchara’) are from the Gaelic, and often translated into modern English as an expression such as ‘soul friend’. An anam cara or soul friend is one who walks with you, and accepts you as you are. Through an anam cara relationship our relationship with God is deepened and our response to God’s presence in our daily lives strengthened.


In June 2007, Bishop in Council endorsed a proposal to establish a new community within the Diocese of Gippsland. The resulting Christian community, called the Anam Cara Community, brings together existing ministries in a new form for our Diocese and yet, is also something that has been practiced for centuries throughout the church.

The Community grew out of the ongoing soul care and retreat ministry of the Revd. Anne Turner. The name ‘Anam Cara’ is the Celtic Christian name for Soul-Friend. Anne was the inaugural Soul Carer of the Community. In July 2012 Colin Thornby and Jane Macqueen became the Soul Carers of the Community. Following the death of Colin in July 2013 the Community endorsed Jane Macqueen as the sole Community Soul Carer.

The then Bishop of Gippsland, the Rt Revd. John McIntyre and Soul Carer Anne Turner appointed a group of Servant Leaders to lead the Community.


The aims of the Community are:

  • To promote a life of prayer through silent contemplation, meditation, reflection on Christian scriptures and other spiritual writings;
  • To provide workshops and worship occasions;
  • To provide guidance and creative ways to awaken the individual journey;
  • To produce an annual calendar of Community ministries;
  • To produce a regular reflective newsletter;
  • To be a self-funded community as a result of annual subscriptions paid by Associates.

The Community Statement provides a fuller description of the Community.


All who join the Anam Cara Community will be known as Associates of the Community.

  • Associates are encouraged to embrace the awareness of the Presence of God in every part of life.
  • Associates are encouraged to practice a life of prayer through silent contemplation, meditation, reflection on Christian Scriptures and other spiritual writings in an attitude of stillness.
  • Associates are encouraged to receive individual spiritual direction / soul care.

Find out more

Please read our Anam Cara Brochure.

Join Us

To join our Community, please download the form from here. Membership renewals can also be made on that form. If on email, you will then be added to our email list to receive our regular newsletter ‘Waterholes‘.

Community Prayer

The Anam Cara Community Prayer can be viewed and downloaded if desired from here.