Joanna Thompson (1949-2009)
A charity worker dubbed the ‘gentle warrior’ has died at the age of 60. In July, Joanna Thompson, head of pregnancy charity CareConfidential, was called home to be with the Lord after a sudden illness.
Joanna started working for CARE twenty years ago in Basingstoke. She helped launch the Firgrove LIFE centre and helped form Christians Caring For Life (CCFL), under a steering group chaired by Dr Phil Clarke.
When CCFL became a department of CARE in 1993, Joanna joined the full-time staff as national co-ordinator of CARE for Life. There are now 155 centres.
In the years that followed she laid the foundation for the outstanding work renamed CareConfidential, which resulted in tens of thousands of desperate women being helped. For some, their lives and those of their families were totally transformed. One supporter put it: ‘we will never know how many people are walking around today because of Joanna’.
Joanna was a woman of God for her generation. When people met her, perhaps having only one conversation with her, their lives were touched for ever. She carried the presence of God with her and in her work at CARE would quietly challenge us about what really mattered – our relationship with God and our love for his people.
She was a woman who cared deeply, carrying her vision to many countries – South Africa, Sweden, Eastern Europe and the US. Together with others, she helped inspire and equip God’s people to show his love for the woman and her baby. She said that she and others in the work were ‘just ordinary women helping ordinary women’.
To those who had the privilege of knowing her she was extraordinary, and we miss her greatly. She leaves behind her husband Philip, son Mark, daughter Charlotte, daughter-in-law Becky, and four grandchildren. A service of thanksgiving for her life is to be held in early November at Westminster Chapel, London.
CARE chief executive