Girls Brigade Ministries - Lives transformed & enriched

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I owe a debt of gratitude to GB

14 Mar 2018

Anne Browse, President of Methodist Women in Britain 2015-2017, has shared how being a member of GB impacted her.

She was a member of 1st Thatcham GB in Berkshire as a child and later a leader who helped run the Region 6, south west England, summer camp.

Anne, 61, pictured, says ‘I knew from about age 14 that I wanted to teach, encouraged by opportunities to be trained to lead a Sunday School class and to help with the younger children in my Girls' Brigade group. Both the Methodist Church and GB have been crucial in recognising, acknowledging and developing leadership potential in young people over many years, for which I personally owe a debt of gratitude.’

Girls’ Life Brigade started when Anne was 5 at Thatcham Methodist Church and she remembers her first evening vividly.

She says ‘We had Plasticine to play with and I thought the aim was to make something and if the leaders couldn’t guess what it was then you won. I made tadpoles but the leaders thought they were coat hooks so I was pretty pleased.’

Anne stayed with the group until she was 18 and left to attend university but she attended the Region 6 summer camp until the age of 23 when she started her first teaching post. She then went on to lead the camp for around 30 years.

She says ‘It was great to be part of such a committed team of adults prepared to give up their holiday and spend it in a field, when it wouldn’t be their preference, because they knew the experience for young people is so valuable. I used to love the sense of wonder as to what God was going to do with the week in a field.’

Anne has 3 children and her youngest daughter Katie, 24, both pictured below, is now the current co-leader of the camp.

Anne, of Devon, is the out-going President of Methodist Women in Britain 2015-2017, an independent charity within the worldwide Methodist Church, and in a recent blog shared the impact her first GB captain had on her.

She says ‘Joyce Abbott is 91 and still in Thatcham and she started the group with Marjorie Royle, who has since died. Their commitment to us and willingness to turn up every Friday night to work with us was incredible.

‘When I meet up with people across the country and tell a story about GB many of them share their own… so many people, even if not now involved, found GB really formative when they were young.’

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