Monthly Blog: December
Our first monthly blog below is the first of a new series of Blogs, written by our new Governor. Please check back next month for a new blog on the latest news from NHQ. To read the full blog click on Read More.
I first joined the Church Girls Brigade (CGB) when I was 10 years old when three well intentioned ladies from our Parish decided to form a company following the success of the recently formed company of the Church Lads Brigade (CLB). Sadly they hadn’t realised how much work and dedication would be needed to run a company and over the next 6 years, one by one, they all handed in their notice. Over this period my twin sister and I had enjoyed lots of exciting activities and learned many new skills but perhaps the highlight had been going to camp in the Isle of Wight and meeting so many other members of the CGB. We had also paraded through London behind a wonderful drum and fife band, proud and delighted to be the centre of attention. To this day the sound of a marching band has me tapping my feet and itching to march along behind them.
At the very youthful age of 16 the company was set to close as no-one had come forward to take over the reigns. My sister and I had been confirmed a few years earlier and approached the vicar to ask if he would allow us to run the company. Amazingly, both the vicar and the hierarchy of the CGB agreed to this proposal and thus began my life as a leader in the CGB approximately 48 years ago.
At the beginning it had been about the enjoyment we got from being members of the CGB but as time passed it became more about the enjoyment of working with young people and seeing their achievements.
I am proud and honoured to have been asked to become Governor of the Brigade but I recognise that whilst there are some similarities with the Brigade of my childhood, life today is very different and the desires of young people have changed. They are more discerning and there are so many other claims upon their time, partly through school and partly through modern technology and the gaming industry. Sadly, for a variety of reasons, we have lost many companies over the years and our numbers are quite depleted. The challenge today is to understand why this has happened, to work on the things that we can change and to develop and grow. Since becoming Deputy Governor in 2010 I have had more involvement with Brigade Council and can see that there is real excitement about the way forward. Leaders, both young and old, are working towards a new future for Brigade. The recent survey compiled by the Way Forward Group has gone a long way towards understanding the feelings of the rank and file. Perhaps now we should implement a survey for the clergy to find out what would encourage them to have a company in their parish. The training team have spent many hours creating a training system for young leaders which is a great innovation and will lead to recognised universal qualifications. None of this can happen however without the hard work of the leaders who run the weekly sessions. They are the people who encourage and support the children in their companies and who best understand their needs. So let’s hear from you, don’t worry that your thoughts or ideas are too radical or too traditional. If changes are needed we need to know what we can do to change for the better.
I look forward to meeting the leaders and members of the CLCGB over the coming months. In the meantime, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for all your hard work and dedication. Have a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Liz Butterfield (Governor – CLCGB)