Monday, 20 February 2017

Diamonds, Prayers and Hearts

by Michael Ford last modified 20 Feb, 2017 03:02 PM

The latest news from Trowbridge, Westbury, Bournemouth and beyond, courtesy Diocesan President Rosie Stiven.

Well, it may have been very cold and wintry outside, but on the 1st February there was a very warm welcome from Cathie Senior and the members of Mothers’ Union Branch of St James, Trowbridge. We gathered to celebrate 60 ‘Diamond’ years of membership of Margaret Turner and Brenda Truelove, 50 ‘Golden’ years of membership of Ann Hawke and the enrolment of Wendy Darwin.

I also understand the Branch will soon be celebrating the enrolment of Jenny Draper and Glayne Greenaway. Cathie, it was a joy to be with you all and thank you very much indeed for making me so welcome.

St James', Trowbridge [Feb 2017]

However, all good things are often tinged with a note of sadness. Our thoughts and prayers are with Betty Witt, who was called to her Maker before she could receive her 50 years of membership certificate. RIP.

Prayer is at the very core of everything we do in Mothers’ Union and from 5th to 7th February our members were united in our annual Wave of Prayer. This is a very special time when we remember our links throughout the world. We prayed for our sisters and brothers in Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Also, we prayed for our friends in the Sudans and Guyana.

On 8th February, I visited Jean Jane and members of All Saints, Westbury for a talk by Sarah Jane Bungay of BBC Bristol Points West. Sarah Jane was a delightful speaker and she provided us with a real insight to the life of a TV reporter. We think we live such busy lives, but my goodness, Sarah’s working life is totally at the mercy of deadlines and the ticking clock.

We greatly appreciated her finding the time to talk to us. It was also really good to see so many members there as Westbury Branch were joined by members and friends from Mere, Warminster and Dilton Marsh. Thank you Jean for organising such an interesting meeting.

It’s always good to reflect upon what it means to be a member of Mothers’ Union. This was a question posed at a recent training day I attended for our cluster Dioceses, which was hosted by Exeter. Here are some thoughts which we shared together. They were written on hearts as the training took place on St Valentine’s Day! From the hearts, it’s fairly clear to see that Fellowship and Faith in Action are really important to us as members.

SW Cluster Hearts 1 [Feb 2017] SW Cluster Hearts 2 [Feb 2017]

Thinking about St Valentine’s Day, February is of course, the month when Mothers’ Union focuses on Marriage and so it is no surprise that we find Margaret Morris and her team once again hosting our stand at the Bournemouth International Centre Wedding Fayre from 17th to 19th February. Margaret tells me that this is her twelfth year at the BIC. During the two days of the Fayre, Margaret expects to speak with circa 250 couples who may be thinking about or have already booked a Church Wedding.

There are well over 100 stands at this particular Wedding Fayre and you may like to know that the MU stand is the only one which promotes Christian marriage. Margaret, you really do wonderful work at the Wedding Fayre – thank you so much, to you and your team, for your dedication in bringing Christ’s message into such a high profile and very secular event.

Wedding Fayre Margaret Morris and Beryl Hurley [Feb 2017] Wedding Fayre Poster Feb 2017
Pictured: Margaret Morris and Beryl Hurley

Wedding Fayre Katie Hudson [Feb 2017] 
Pictured: Katie Hudson

If you happen to be in Salisbury on 28th February, please do come to the Salisbury Cathedral Mothers’ Union Communion at 12 noon with Revd Colin Fox presiding.

Before I close, here are just a few reminders of important dates and activities in March for your Diary.

 

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