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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

'Stunned' by receiving Archbishop's award

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

Richard Fisher, Chief Executive of BRF, being interviewed at Cliff Festival, Derbyshire

The Chief Executive of BRF, Richard Fisher, has been awarded the prestigious Alphege Award by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Today he said he was 'completely stunned' to receive this honour.

The citation on the Archbishop of Canterbury's website reads:

Canon Richard Fisher – The Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness. For outstanding innovative work in supporting and developing Fresh Expressions of Church such as Messy Church, Who Let The Dads Out? and, more recently, Anna Chaplaincy.

'In total, 32 awards were this year given to people from across the church and beyond in fields including evangelism, the Religious Life, safeguarding, ecumenism, theology, and interfaith relations. The recipients include people from New Zealand, Kenya and the USA, as well as a number of others in the UK and Ireland. The awards are usually presented at a ceremony at Lambeth Palace, which this year has had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.' 

Archbishop Justin Welby said: 'This is the fifth year of the Lambeth Awards, and I am constantly impressed and humbled by the work that recipients have accomplished, sometimes in the most challenging circumstances. Not all are followers of Jesus Christ, but all contribute through their faith to the mutual respect and maintenance of human dignity which are so vital to spiritual and social health.'

Richard has been toasted by BRF staff today and has watched a special compilation video from friends and colleagues in which they pay tribute to Richard's personal qualities and his leadership.

Bishop Christopher Herbert, former Bishop of St Albans and Chair of the Anna Chaplaincy Advisory Group, spoke of Richard's 'self-effacing' character and prophetic qualities, of how he had made an outstanding contribution to the church over many years. He praised him for his 'enormous vision' and for being 'such an amazing person', giving 'so much of his time and talents to God's church'.

Network member, Canon Dr Erica Roberts, echoed these words, adding that she wanted to say a personal thank-you to Richard 'for having the vision for how the impact of Anna Chaplaincy would serve those who are most vulnerable in our communities'.

All the network sends Richard our heartiest congratulations, and we look forward very much to the future date when he can attend Lambeth Palace to receive his richly deserved recognition and the award from Justin Welby in person. Read more here.

Lambeth Palace, London

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