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Monday, 14 May 2018

Listening, Observing, Acting - and Winning!

by Michael Ford last modified 14 May, 2018 01:59 PM

It has been a busy two months for Mothers’ Union in this diocese. Diocesan President Rosie Stiven reports in.

It’s been a while since I last wrote to you and so here are some of the activities that have been going on.

There has been much discussion within Mothers’ Union about how to prepare for the future by members of Mothers’ Union who have been Listening, Observing and Acting or doing - ‘MULOA’, for short.

The first experience of the MULOA process took place with Branch members of the Wilton Evening group. Together we studied and acted out the story of Blind Bartimaeus, and discussed how the story reflected the work of Mothers’ Union now and how it could be applied to our work in the future. Some interesting ideas emerged, and we look forward to meeting again in June to take the MULOA process further.

I also spent a very happy Saturday morning with Wilton Mothers’ Union Branch as we prepared posies which were distributed on Mothering Sunday.

Wilton Flower Ladies [Mar 2018]

Also In March, our Spring Council took place at St Francis’ Church in Salisbury. We were delighted to welcome Katherine Hudson from Mary Sumner House who spoke to us about the makeup of the membership of Mothers’ Union worldwide; identifying areas of growth and decline.

Katherine gave a really interesting presentation, and it was particularly challenging when she described the areas of growth and decline within the UK - some food for thought there!

Spring Council MU Shop [Mar 2018]

In the same week, there was a great celebration at the Salisbury Law Courts. Our Court Café team, alongside the Court Chaplaincy and others, received the High Sheriff’s Award for Community Service. The High Sheriff, Lady Penny Marland, presented the Award for the Court Café team to the team leader, Joanna Woodd.

This was a very proud moment, as the Award represents real recognition of Mothers’ Union work within the Criminal Justice System and, in particular, of our support for families caught up in the Criminal Justice System. Well done to Joanna and the team.

High Sherriff Awards [Mar 2018]

You will remember the snow - hard to forget, I know! Unfortunately, because of it, certain events had to be re-scheduled. One such event was Wilton’s Women’s World Day of Prayer, which was postponed until 11 April.

Nevertheless, we took part in a very poignant Service in Wilton Baptist Church which, this year, focused on the life of the people in Suriname. The Service highlighted the environmental problems faced by the local people.

Women's World Day of Prayer [Mar 2018]

I also had the privilege of attending a very special Service indeed, which would normally have been held on the Sunday following Mothering Sunday. Led by Revd Betty Port of St Mary's, Weymouth, those families who had experienced stillborn children or miscarriages came together in a Service of Precious Memories – a Service full of compassion and love.

Tea Lights were lit, names were written upon hearts which were placed in a book of remembrance, and posies were given out. What a wonderful way of remembering those dear little ones now at peace and resting in the arms of the Lord!

Other really memorable and enjoyable events this time have included speaking at Pewsey as part of their series of Lent discussion groups. In addition, I had the privilege of Chairing the AGM at the Salisbury Women’s Refuge.

Branksome All Saints members invited me to speak to the gathering of Poole Deanery and circa 70 members gathered together for this on the hottest day in April! During the same week, I was delighted to re-visit the members of Sherborne Branch during their morning meeting.

I would like to thank all the groups I have mentioned here for their very warm welcome and wonderful hospitality. It has been a joy to be with you all and thank you for all the wonderful work you are doing.

Deanery at Branksome All Saints [Apr 2018]

The Annual reunion for the families who have enjoyed our Away From It All Holidays took place on Saturday 7 April. Twenty-one families attended - 33 children and 23 adults. What a wonderful turnout, and thank you to Ian and Wilma Bromilow and all our volunteers for bringing the families together again.

Please don’t forget that our holiday home at Rockley Park was opened up in time for Easter and there are still vacancies outside of school holidays. To book, please telephone us on 07981 743627 or email .

Last but not least, PLEASE look out for our Stand in the Cathedral Cloisters on Sunday 20 May. Mothers’ Union has been invited to have a display Stand as part of ‘Thy Kingdom Come Beacon Event’ celebrations. We will be setting this up from 3.30pm during the afternoon. So come and visit us and I look forward to seeing you there - wearing your Mothers’ Union badges, of course!

Rosie Stiven


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