The Mothers’ Union is an international Anglican society. Its mission is the advancement of the Christian religion in the sphere of marriage and family life. Membership is open to all who have been baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity and declare their support of the aim and objects of the society. The Corsham branch meets in Church House, Church Street, Corsham at 2:30pm on the first Wednesday of each month.
The branch leader is Mrs Cathy Reynolds, Shepherds Lodge, 28 Greenhill, Neston
SN13 9SQ. Tel. (01225) 811865.
Click to see pictures of recent events (and details of this year’s Global Moment on 14 May) and read on for some other highlights.
Corsham Mothers’ Union hosted the Deanery MU Service on 7 December 2016 and held a final celebration of the 140th Anniversary of the Mothers’ Union. Stephen Hinton and Terry Reynolds were admitted as Corsham’s first male members of the MU and all members were given the opportunity to affirm their commitment. Each branch was asked to write their gifts and blessings of the past on a leaf and their future hopes on the grapes and these were hung on the branches of the tree. (picture below). Cathy Reynolds led the intercessions and reminded members that the tree which has many branches is like the Mothers’ Union and reminds us that we are not only a member of a branch, a Deanery, a Diocese but that we belong to a Worldwide organisation started by Mary Sumner 140 years ago and in which today there are members in 83 countries. We are now looking forward to the future and in January will be thinking and praying for our theme for 2017 which Faith in Action.
The Mothers’ Union is the world’s largest lay Christian membership charity. This year marks 140 years of faithful outreach to families of all faiths and none. Since 1876, when Mary Sumner first brought together parents in her own Hampshire parish to build their confidence in bringing up their children, it has grown to an organisation of over four million women – and men – in over 80 countries of the world, promoting stable marriage, family life and the protection of children through praying, enabling and campaigning. Prayer is central to the work of Mothers’ Union and each day, at midday, members pause to pray. The Wave of Prayer is a continuous expression of their commitment in prayer to each other in this country and worldwide.
Work carried out in the provinces includes marriage and relationship support, dealing with problems of poverty of opportunity with Literacy and Financial Education programmes, vocational training, health education, care for vulnerable adults, prison work, community support, advocacy and campaigning and provision of relief. Thousands of people benefit each year from the work done by Mothers’ Union members in their communities.
The Mothers’ Union was first established in the Bristol Diocese in 1898 when there were 12 Branches and around 400 members. Today there are 34 branches and 720 members. Members support our Diocesan Projects either by volunteering or by raising funds and giving donations. There are 82 members who volunteer to be at Bristol Cathedral so every week day visitors are met and made welcome by MU members. MU members started the Friends for Parents scheme at Bristol Children’s Hospital providing a friendly face, supplies of tea and coffee and practical help for parents who arrive from all over the country. Donations of toys, clothes, sometimes furnishings (for the RISE project in Chippenham), tea and coffee (for Friends for Parents in Bristol Children’s Hospital), rice and tins of fish (Asylum Seekers in Bristol) come from all over the Diocese and many members are busy knitting children’s jumpers to go overseas to orphanages, to refugees and others in need. Some of our jumpers were taken to Nepal only a few weeks after the earthquake there had devastated the country. Also our jumpers were being given to refugees in Europe sometime before they became headline news. This year the Mothers’ Union will provide coaches for a day by the sea for families from deprived areas across the Diocese, meaning that children who’ve never previously seen the sea will enjoy a day at the seaside.
Every parish linked to a Mothers’ Union branch benefits from the help MU members give to a wide range of activities including supporting Wedding couples and families who bring children for Baptism, taking on leading positions on Parochial Church Councils, and providing tea and cake at various functions. In North Wilts teams go into school with “Open the Book” and in several churches the Mothers’ Union members are key to the running of ‘Messy Church’ or Sunday School activities.
We have so much to celebrate and there is still so much to be done. We always need new members and anyone interested can find out more about the Mothers’ Union by visiting the main website http://www.mothersunion.org/about-us or our own Diocesan website http://www.mu-bristol.co.uk/ .
Mothers’ Union – Friends for Parents
Friends for Parents is a team of 9 volunteers who work at Bristol Children’s Hospital with the hospital chaplain visiting the families on the wards there, many of whom are living a long way out of the area, far from family and friends. One of the things parents really appreciate is that as well as friendship in times of distress, we provide coffee, tea, sugar and powdered milk so that they can make themselves a drink at any time – when they arrive in an emergency for example. The MU are totally dependent on donations for this work. Mothers’ Union members are a wonderful support but the number of members in the branches has decreased, and due to the closure of Frenchay Hospital the number of wards has increased as well as the price of supplies so it becoming increasingly difficult to provide this service.
How you can support Friends for Parents
It would be wonderful if we could show our support by sponsoring Rob and Tina with jars of coffee or packs of teabags or perhaps a donation if you would rather do that so that they can purchase what is needed.
If you prefer to give a cheque please make it out to The Mothers’ Union and write Friends for Parents on the back.
I do hope you will be able to support this worthwhile cause and there will be a box on the cross pew in St Bart’s during May for any donations.