Your help is needed now…more than ever!

Now, perhaps more than ever, the health and wellbeing of seniors-in-need could be in jeopardy. Through Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Fellowship Program, more than 100 seniors-in-need know their futures are secure…but it was not always this way for them. Consider this letter we recently received from the daughter of a newer Westminster Canterbury Richmond resident.  

“After Dad’s death, Mom was left with very little. My parents had given their entire lives to helping others. I became so worried about Mom being alone. The neighborhood where she lived had become unsafe. What if she fell? What repair would her aging home need next? What if she became seriously ill? Her financial situation was fragile. As much as I wanted to help, my income is small. Mom seemed so lonely, so isolated. I saw her health and her spirit decline. The worst part was, I knew Mom was worrying, too, but she never wanted to burden me.

Through the grace of God, a friend at church told me about Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Fellowship Program. Thanks to so many generous people, Mom is now in a thriving environment she calls home. These compassionate donors whom I’ve never met have given our family such peace of mind. They have literally saved Mom’s life!

I will always be a donor to the Fellowship Program. My small gift, added to the gifts of others, makes a huge difference in the lives of more than 100 seniors just like my mom, who are receiving help right now. We thank God each day for this incredible generosity.”

Security and safety should be the right of every senior…

YOUR inspiring generosity to the Fellowship Program saves lives!

YOU provide secure housing, meals and life-saving medical care.

YOU help keep our seniors safe in times of great uncertainty.

Security, safety and health are more important now than ever before. YOU can help our community with a generous gift to the Fellowship Program, a gift that helps us continue serving seniors-in-need at  Westminster Canterbury…and reaching others who need our help.

For more information or to give, please contact Jeanette Ucci at (804) 264-6204 or visit our website.

Press Release: Westminster Canterbury Richmond COVID-19 Response

 A resident of Westminster Canterbury Richmond, a continuing care retirement/life plan community, has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The resident is in the hospital after returning from travel to Florida. Westminster Canterbury is working closely with public health officials, who are on campus partnering with Westminster Canterbury healthcare staff. Virginia Department of Health officials are now determining who may have come into contact with the resident and a number of healthcare staff are at home in self-quarantine.

Starting at the beginning of March, a Coronavirus Task Force comprised of staff from various departments, including an RN Infection Preventionist, met to review existing policies and procedures related to infectious diseases and make a plan for other concerns. Our existing infection control policies and procedures guide us as we work to prevent the spread of infection and control it as necessary.

  • On March 4, staff began tracking the travel plans of residents, staff and their families in order to monitor those travelling to affected areas.
  • On March 11, as soon as a case was confirmed in greater Richmond, Westminster Canterbury took strides to lock down the campus, closing the campus to visitors and screening everyone who entered campus, including all staff members, with questions and temperature screenings.

  As soon as COVID-19 was diagnosed for the hospitalized resident, Westminster Canterbury took additional steps, including requiring all residents to remain in their apartments.  All needs of residents will be attended to by staff.

“We initiated aggressive and proactive efforts in tracking the travel of our residents and employees as well as implemented proactive screening procedures which we believe helped us manage this case as effectively as possible,” said John Burns, President and CEO.

Virginia Department of Health will be involved throughout the process.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond Coronavirus Preparedness and Response

Westminster Canterbury Richmond wants to assure you that we are well prepared to respond to Coronavirus. A Coronavirus Task Force comprised of staff from various departments began meeting last week to review existing policies and procedures related to infectious diseases and to plan for other concerns. Our existing infection control policies and procedures will guide us as we work to prevent the spread of infection and control it as necessary.

The first coronavirus case in central Virginia was reported Wednesday morning in a press conference held by Governor Northam. Officials say the Commonwealth’s ninth case comes from the Chickahominy Health District – a person from the Ashland area who traveled internationally. We do not have COVID-19 on our campus yet, but as a precaution, we are taking many steps to prevent it entering our doors.

Our best possible outcome is preventing spread of the virus to our campus. As the situation develops in our region, there are certain guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that we will be required to follow, so we want to update you on what you can expect in the coming days and weeks.

For the safety and health of all our residents and staff, we ask that you be our partners as we take the following precautions.

  • Effective Thursday, March 12, Westminster Canterbury Richmond will be screening every person who enters the campus.
  • Effective immediately, no outside visitors or guests are allowed to enter campus. We encourage you to stay connected with your loved ones via phone, video conferencing, email, social media and other means.
  • No visitors, including Independent Living residents, will be allowed in Parsons Health Center and Assisted Living areas. Staff will be medically evaluated before being allowed to enter these areas.
  • Effective immediately, outside vendors and contractors will be screened and are restricted from common areas.
  • Memorial services will not be held on campus for the foreseeable future to limit outside guests.
  • We will be suspending all large events on campus and make decisions about other activities and events in the coming days.
  • Residents and employees are reporting travel plans so that they can be monitored upon their return to the region.
  • Everyone is encouraged to continue practicing good infection control by washing your hands and using hand sanitizer; covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze; maintain “social distances” of around six feet from people who show symptoms; and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. If you need medical care, please call ahead to your primary care physician.
  • Updates on the latest developments will be shared here.

Thank you for your assistance as we work diligently to keep our campus safe and healthy. Our staff Coronavirus Task Force and leadership is meeting daily to address ongoing concerns. Our Medical Director, Director of Nursing and Infection Control Preventionist review Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and CMS updates several times each day. Our goal is to ensure we can all live life well, no matter the circumstances. We will share updates with you as we have them.

Mary Morton Parsons Foundation Challenge Underway!

Westminster Canterbury Richmond is growing from our roots in faith. We are grateful for a long legacy of generosity that has helped us get to where we are today. That generosity began as long ago as 1971, when Mary Morton Parsons herself was a huge part of the inception of our community. She made a gift that helped us buy the Westbrook property that has been our home for the past 45 years!

The legacy continues as we create a new Spiritual Center that embraces our faith traditions and welcomes people of all faiths. To help, Westminster Canterbury Foundation is raising $4 million toward the creation of our new Spiritual Center. So far, generous donors have given $2.1 million toward the project. We need your help!

The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation has given us a 2:1 challenge grant. If we raise $600,000, they will give $300,000 to the Spiritual Center. Your gift may be toward any area that is supported by generous gifts, such as the Fellowship Program, the Area of the Greatest Need, the Spiritual Center and more.

You can read all the details about the challenge and the Spiritual Center in our latest issue of The Lamp. See the latest construction progress video.

Thank you for your inspiring generosity! If you are interested in participating in the challenge, contact Anita Adkins at (804) 264-6202 or or make a gift now!

Consider Adding Something Meaningful for Lent

Every year since 1996, Westminster Canterbury Richmond residents and staff write Lenten devotionals published in our annual Lenten Journey.  These beautiful booklets are printed and distributed to churches throughout the Richmond region.  The devotional is also available on our website.  The project’s purpose is beautifully described in the Introduction, written by the Rev. Dr. Jim King, Pastor and Head of Staff of Salisbury Presbyterian Church.  Here is what he says about the practice of daily Lenten devotion:

“By opening this devotional you are taking an important step in the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent is the Season of Preparation for Easter. Planning and preparation for a major event are always a good thing. By reading this devotional daily you are participating in Lent.

Many people observe Lent by giving up something for the season. What they give up is usually desirable, something they will miss. The idea is to “go without” for 40 days, just as Jesus went without in the wilderness. Jesus went without food, so I should give up chocolate?  Some have tried to go without coffee; they were miserable, they made those around them miserable. Is that what Lent is supposed to do?

By opening this book you are adding a daily devotional (or adding something to your ongoing daily devotional time). Spending time daily reflecting upon Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the best way to prepare for Easter. Do not to rush through this part of your day. Enter into this time with prayer, read and reflect upon the devotion, and then conclude your time with prayer.

You and those around you will be blessed by your taking the time and preparing for the celebration of God’s ultimate expression of love.

Enjoy these 40 days, may you grow in your excitement for the celebration of the Resurrection!

Click HERE to read the Lenten Journal.

Inspiring Women

When you hear these words, what do you think of?  Strength. Assertiveness. Empathy. Passion. Imperfection. Power. Faith. Adaptability. Courage. Perseverance.  These are frequently mentioned characteristics to describe strong, successful and admired women.  We love that “imperfection” is a valued trait – because authenticity is important to success.

This week at Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we celebrate two amazing, authentic women –Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, our historic benefactor whose birthday we celebrate annually by giving our organization’s highest award for exemplary service – and Betsy Waring King, our 2020 honoree.

Once upon a time (isn’t this the way all good stories should start?), in the late 1800s, Lettie Pate’s husband, Joseph Whitehead, had a bright idea.  Wouldn’t sales explode for the company who could figure out how to bottle the new, fizzy, refreshing, popular drink only available in drug stores? Despite his belief that such a scheme would never work, Asa Candler, then president of the fledgling Coca-Cola Company, signed a one-page contract allowing Whitehead to buy the secret syrup, add carbonation and bottle.  The cost to Whitehead? $1.

Needless to say, the idea took!  Unfortunately, within 11 years young Whitehead died of exhaustion.  And that is when a strong woman stepped up.  His wife, Lettie Pate Whitehead, took the helm – an unusual move in 1906.  She built the business into the amazing success it is.  As the years went on, she also built an incredible legacy of philanthropy that continues today.  Concerned for the welfare of women, for she came from very humble roots and knew what it meant to struggle, she provided higher education scholarships for young women and safe, secure care for older women.  Today, Westminster Canterbury Richmond and other communities benefit from the generosity of her legacy. 

It is because of this wonderful example of strong leadership, innovation and generosity that we honor a remarkable volunteer each year on Mrs. Evans’ birthday.  This year, we are thrilled to honor Betsy Waring King.  Mrs. King was an innovative educational leader throughout her career and continues to serve as a generous, inspirational volunteer.  We see the characteristics of strong, admired women in both those we honor this week.

Look around you.  We’re sure there are strong, admired women in your life!  Perhaps today is the perfect time to thank them for the ways they inspire you.

Celebrating Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s 2020 Laurel Award Winners!

We are fortunate to live in a time when views on what aging and elderhood “should be” are changing for the better. Once thought of as a “last chapter” of life, a time to slow down and disengage, more and more people are embracing elderhood and aging as a time of renewal and life enrichment. So many seniors, now retired from paid employment, use this time to volunteer for causes about which they are passionate. Volunteering benefits not only the cause or organization but also the volunteers themselves.

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, our residents are definitely active in elderhood, and this includes volunteering. We are so fortunate to have more than 500 residents and non-residents volunteer on campus. This week, we celebrated some extraordinary examples of volunteerism. Each year, Westminster Canterbury recognizes exceptional volunteers by presenting the Laurel Awards to those whose significant contributions of time and energy are well beyond the ordinary. Laurel Award winners have made a recognizable and positive difference within the Westminster Canterbury community.

We are honored to celebrate the 2020 Laurel winners!


(Back, left to right) Julia Klele, Glenn Graham, Sally Maynard. (Front) Ellen “Tommy” Thompson, Barbara Noe, Morehead Foard.

How do volunteers make a difference in your life? How can you honor those people you know who contribute so much yet expect nothing in return? Let’s celebrate all the wonderful volunteers we know, especially those who are embracing their elderhood as a time of giving back. We invite you to learn about volunteering at Westminster Canterbury Richmond!

2019 Accomplishments Made Possible by Generosity!

Generosity helps all residents at Westminster Canterbury Richmond by providing vital programming that is not possible otherwise. All residents benefit from these programs – not just those who can afford them. The best possible healthcare. Additional nursing staff to enhance the care we provide. Extensive clinical training so nurses know the right ways to respond. Recreation, exercise, art, music and horticulture – to engage those at all health and income levels. Excellent staff to care for their every need.

In this two-part series, we celebrate what was made possible in 2019 through generosity to Westminster Canterbury Foundation.

YOUR gifts to the Fellowship Program, the cornerstone of Westminster Canterbury, provide life care for seniors-in-need and are the basis for all our charitably funded programming.  In 2019, YOU helped 113 residents through Fellowship support, which includes housing, meals, medical care and vital living. Gifts to the Annual Fellowship Fund totaled $1,712,336 toward the annual Fellowship Program budget of around $4 million, which is also covered by restricted Fellowship Endowments.

YOUR gifts have allowed assistance to extend beyond our campus through Fellowship Outreach, a set of programs serving low-income seniors in greater Richmond. Thanks to our generous donors, including 153 staff who give and volunteer:

  • 22 seniors and families received wheelchair ramps.
  • 35 Friendship Café members received monthly programming in art, music and exercise.
  • Free health screenings are available to all 150 residents of Guardian Place.

To ensure Healthcare Excellence, our healthcare staff receive high-level training and education through our Clinical Educator and Nurse Preceptor Program, including a total of 3,859 hours in 2019! Many nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants comment that this program provided the best orientation, training and onboarding experience of their entire careers.

We thank you for your inspiring generosity in 2019!
Stay tuned to learn more about the incredible accomplishments made possible by generosity!

The Big Red Bus

Kathryn Murden recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts and shortly after that started working at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. She has quickly become a valuable member of our team who created wonderful original designs and illustrations for our many publications. Kathryn designed a full bus wrap that advertises that we are hiring in several departments. This video highlights Kathryn and the bus she designed!

Toe-Tapping Fun!

Many of us enjoy attending a concert or play from time to time, and though we have a great time, we may not appreciate the benefits of attending live performances.  Yet, the advantages are many and they continue from childhood through our older years.

In fact, the National Institutes of Health cite that arts engagement for seniors improves memory, creativity, problem solving, everyday competence, reaction time, balance, gait and quality of life.  Live performances are engaging events that build a sense of togetherness and offer a chance to connect with fellow attendees and meet new people – an excellent antidote to social isolation, a particular risk for older adults.  Watching a live performance is thought-provoking; we can gain a deep appreciation of our own culture and learn about others. 

And of course, we all know watching live performances is often foot-tapping, stress-reducing, mood-enhancing fun! 

This is why we provide ongoing, high-quality live performances at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. These are available to everyone here, regardless of their health, cognitive or financial status. As our Sara Belle November Theater fills each week for another wonderful show, the sense of community is palpable.  Old friends and new greet each other enthusiastically and everyone is welcome.

Each quarter, we produce a Cultural and Education Booklet to feature the upcoming performances. This season, the variety includes the Capitol Steps, Richmond Ballet,  Nashville Avenue Stompers, the Susan Greenbaum Band and a Piano Festival – to name a few. If you have family here at Westminster Canterbury or are a member of our Canterbury Club, consider attending with your loved one or attending as our guest. 

The Richmond region is rich in cultural offerings, and it is more than worth it to consider how attending live cultural events will enhance your life!

Click here to explore our latest Cultural and Education Series booklet and let the toe-tapping fun begin!