Debbie Thrower to retire yet with a new BRF Ministries role ahead
Debbie Thrower has announced that she will step down as Ministry Lead for Anna Chaplaincy at the end of November. But she will become a vice-president for BRF Ministries - still advocating for Anna Chaplaincy, from January 2024. She will be succeeded by Debbie Ducille who is currently Anna Chaplaincy's Church Lead.
'I have been so proud to develop Anna Chaplaincy from its origins in Alton, Hampshire, back in 2010 to become the national network it is today. We owe so much to BRF,' said Debbie. 'But, the time has come to have a rather different rhythm of life.
I'm delighted Debbie (Ducille) has agreed to succeed me. She will be ably assisted by Julia (Burton-Jones) our Training and Development Lead, and I have every confidence in the team continuing to grow the movement successfully.
It is such a valuable approach to offering spiritual support to older people and works in so many different contexts - town and country.
We'll continue to pursue the vision of seeing Anna Chaplaincy available in every small to medium-sized community across the country. Raising standards of practice in the field has been our aim and that work goes on.'
'As a vice-president I will be in a good position to advocate for the ministry and seek more sustainable funding for it.
I'll be arguing for more spiritual support for all of us in older age - me included - as I officially become an old age pensioner next month!'
BRF Ministries issued a news release on October 16. Chief Executive Richard Fisher paid tribute to Debbie, saying:
'Debbie’s ministry has been rooted in practice, but her vision has led her to develop this into a growing national network of Anna Chaplains who are able to offer high quality spiritual care within their communities.'
'Debbie has been given a deep tenacity to challenge and champion the spiritual care of older people both within and outside the church. Her passion for her work is driven by a desire to see older people get the care, and especially spiritual care, they deserve.'
Commenting on the timing of her decision, Debbie said: ‘There’s nothing like receiving notification of your state pension to bring home the fact that you’re officially an old-age pensioner. It’s a bittersweet feeling handing on the baton to my colleagues as Anna Chaplaincy has been such an all-encompassing part of my life, but it’s time to practice what I preach and try to “age well.” Part of that is about less “doing” and more “being”; going on growing spiritually and keeping relationships in good repair. I am delighted that I shall be able to continue to lobby on behalf of Anna Chaplaincy nationally.'
Richard concluded: 'Debbie will be very much missed by the Anna Chaplaincy team and the wider BRF Ministries staff team. As a colleague, I will miss her wisdom, insight and all that she brings to the charity. We are so pleased that she has agreed to become a vice president of BRF Ministries and will continue to champion Anna Chaplaincy in her retirement.’
You may read the news release in full here.