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Richard honoured by Archbishop

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The Archbishop of Canterbury honours Haddenham resident, Richard Fisher

The 2020 Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness has been awarded to Richard Fisher, Chief Executive of the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF), based in Abingdon.

BRF's chief executive, Richard Fisher, has received a rare personal honour from the Archbishop of Canterbury. The 2020 Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness recognises Richard's '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'.

First awarded in 2016, the Alphege Award reflects Archbishop Justin Welby's particular concern for evangelism and witness. This year's citation begins:

'Over the past 28 years as Chief Executive of The Bible Reading Fellowship, Richard Fisher has led the Charity in a remarkable way, developing it from being primarily a print organisation to becoming a leader, and arguably the leader, in fostering Fresh Expressions of Church in the United Kingdom.'

(Read the full citation by clicking on the PDF on this page)

'A huge honour'

Asked for his reaction to news of the award, Richard replied:

'I have to be honest I was completely stunned when I was first told about it. It is a huge honour, and I feel very humbled to receive this recognition from Archbishop Justin for my work with BRF.

'I don't think of myself as an evangelist. I've got friends who are very natural evangelists, and I know I'm not. But I do have a passion for what we do, and I have a real heart for people to encounter God.'

Richard Fisher has been chief executive at BRF since 1992, steering the organisation through storms and fair weather, nurturing the vision and creativity of the founders and pioneers of ministries like Messy Church, Anna Chaplaincy and Who Let The Dads Out?, and constantly responding to new challenges while staying true to founder Leslie Mannering's original aim of helping his church 'get a move on'.

Bishop Colin Fletcher, chair of BRF's board of trustees, congratulated Richard on the award:

"On any analysis BRF, under Richard's leadership, has been the most significant organisation working alongside the Church of England and our ecumenical partners in fostering Fresh Expressions of Church in recent years. Messy Church, Who Let The Dads Out? and Anna Chaplaincy are just three initiatives that BRF has fostered with others now emerging from its seedbed. Without Richard's leadership and vision, the impact they have made would have been a great deal less and all of us at BRF are delighted that the archbishop has chosen to recognise his contribution to evangelism and witness in this way."

There's also a video tribute here
Our warmest congratulations to Richard from the Haddenham.net webteam.