Tributes paid to Christian pioneer Alan Fisher 

AlanFisher450Tributes have been paid to pioneer of many Ipswich charities and cross-church Christian projects, and Network Norfolk columnist, Alan Fisher who died on October 26.

Alan was a keen sailor and musician and active member of St Matthew’s church, he was also the driving force behind the Christian ecumenical website Network Ipswich.

A Thanksgiving Service is to be held for him on Saturday, November 7, 2pm at St Matthew’s Church (all welcome).  Alan leaves an amazing legacy of 40 years work that will continue to impact the town.
Alan was instrumental in the forming of Heart4Ipswich and in particular establishing the successful Network Ipswich website, sister site to Network Norfolk. With his passion for nurturing new ideas, sharing of good news, and encouraging grass roots projects, Alan had actually been influential in the development and growth of many now successful projects in the town for over forty years.
Alan Fisher was passionate about science, writing many articles on the Heart 4 Ipswich and Network Norwich websites about Christianity and science.

He trained as a Chartered Electrical Engineer, and was Head of Design Strategy at TXU Energy for seven years from 1990 – 1997.
As a founding member of Christian Youth Ministries (CYM) Alan brought his business experience to create a sustainable ministry that has affected the lives of hundreds of young people over the years. He also worked to help set up the now successful and widely respected African Village project.
As a trustee with Perspectives Pregnancy Advice Centre, he saw the creation of a service which has helped many women and their families through difficult times.
Alan was an early trustee for Inspire, especially encouraging an influencing the setting up of the counselling centre after its first years of training church ministry teams.
Alan was integral in setting up the Town Pastors as a company. He was on the original management team and was the first Company Secretary.  He was a long standing home ‘pray-er’ for Town pastors, originally being part of the ‘CYM centre’ prayer team and then a home prayer up until recent months. 
With Heart4Ipswich he developed a web site that now seeks to share a range of stories, opinions and news to the local Christian community and beyond. He also oversaw the delivery of grants to new projects and contributed to bringing people together to share ideas - encouraging the Church in Ipswich to look to meeting the needs of the local community. Even within the last 12 months, during his illness, Alan advised on Heart4Ipswich becoming a charity which will allow us to continue and grow an organisation that serves the local Church and encourages us all to make a difference in society.
Along with others, Alan started a group of ‘retired gentlemen’, which met monthly in one of the establishments around Ipswich. They covered much ground in their conversations over lunch and developed a very special fellowship. Alan wasn’t able to meet with the group over the past year but it continues as one of Alan’s legacies.
Alan was a keen and skilled sailor and musician (bringing special joy in playing and singing with his wife Celia) and in later life embraced the rhythms and wisdom of Celtic Christian understanding.
Even in the past few months when we know he was in much pain, Alan felt passionate about restarting the parish magazine of St Matthews where he and Celia had attended for many years. The third edition was completed just last week and brings together the people of the parish in shared stories. 
Alan did all of this voluntarily – whilst throughout his employed life working as an engineer. Most importantly he was a devoted family man – husband, father and grand-father.
To a large extent Alan was a ‘behind the scenes’ man, bringing his experience of working in business to create sustainable projects that have made a significant difference in the town. It was his faith in Jesus who saves, which he recently described as, “such an ingrained part of me”, that drove him to work passionately and diligently for the good of us all. Alan's heart was always for Christians to work together across the divides, concentrating on those things which unite rather than what separates.  He was widely respected as a 'wise elder'. We will really miss all that he has done, but greater still his gentle words of love and encouragement. However, we are encouraged by his witness to carry on such influential work. 
May we pray now for his family in this time of loss and sadness - Celia, Andrew and Martin and all the family. 
There will be a Thanksgiving Service on Saturday, 7th November, 2.00 pm at St. Matthew’s Church.  All welcome. 

Published: 31/10/2015