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Monday, 5 March 2018

May the Road Rise to You

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Mar, 2018 01:51 PM

From the worldwide to the personal, from the old to the new, from the welcoming in to the saying farewell, Rosie Stiven reports on the last two months’ work in our Mothers’ Union.

The season of Lent is well underway and where have those first 2 months of the year gone? Well, it will come as no surprise to you that we haven’t been wasting our time. Over the last two months our Trustees have had two Board meetings and two subcommittee meetings.

Your President attended Worldwide Conference at Swanwick in early February and was joined there by Laura Kachale, our CDC, for a four-day seminar of planning and preparation for what is our organisation’s new initiative: the Mothers’ Union Listening, Observing and Acting or MULOA project. A very appropriate title, as our theme for this year is walking In Mary Sumner’s Footsteps. Laura and I will be busy taking this initiative to our members throughout the Diocese as the year unfolds.

Two very important events took place at Swanwick. Over the last few years, staff at Mary Sumner House have been reviewing and revising our Constitution in order to ensure that it is a more relevant governing document for our work worldwide in the 21st Century. All their work has now been finalised and Lynne Tembey, our Worldwide President, signed and sealed the Charter at Swanwick in the presence of our CEO, Bev Jullien, past Presidents, Trustees, Provincial and Diocesan Presidents – a truly historic occasion.

Sealing our new MU Constitution [Feb 2018]

The second event was a much more personal and local affair. Laura became a member of Mothers’ Union and was enrolled by our Worldwide President, Lynne Tembey. Perhaps this was not an historic occasion but it was certainly a very moving and memorable one. Laura, welcome to the Mothers’ Union. We are truly blessed to have you as a member.

Laura's MU enrolment [Feb 2018]

During the weekend 9 to 11 February, Margaret Morris and friends once again set up and ran the Mothers’ Union stand at the Bournemouth International Conference Centre Wedding Show. This is no small task - the Show is a really big affair with many, many stands offering everything from Rolls Royce chauffeur driven cars to civil ceremonies in the Seychelles.

Our stand promotes Christian Weddings, with our title ‘Wedding: Think Church.’ I’m delighted to report that Margaret had many interested visitors to the stand and those three days of being there were really worth all the effort, time and energy.

It was also heartening this year to see another Christian stand at the Show. The Church of St John with St Michael from Bournemouth was represented by their Priest in Charge, Revd Sarah Yetman. Perhaps there will be a few more Churches there next year? Margaret, thank you so much for giving up your time to do God’s work in such a secular environment.

MU at the BIC Wedding Fayre [Feb 2018]

Sometimes the administrative burden of running a Branch over many years becomes too much and the decision is made to continue to meet together informally in order to enjoy love and fellowship with each other. Some of our members have come to this decision and I was very privileged to attend their Service of Thanksgiving and Closure of Branch in January led by Revd Stephen Partridge in the beautiful Church of St Mary’s, Lytchett Matravers. We give thanks for the wonderful works your members have performed over the years and may you continue to pray for the work of the Mothers’ Union in the world.

Lychett Matravers MU Tea [Jan 2018]

As you can see from the dates below, our holiday home at Rockley Park will be opening in March for the new season. Booking is open, so do please get in touch if you know of any families in need, carers who need a break, young Mums with little ones who would benefit from time away and anyone else who would enjoy a few days away by the sea in a really beautiful part of the Diocese. Contact details are here, and here are some more important dates for your diaries.

Sunday 11 March:     Mothering Sunday
Tuesday 13 March:   Spring Council at St Francis Church, Salisbury
Monday 19 March:    Setting up our holiday home at Rockley Park. Helpers welcome!
Tuesday 27 March:   Salisbury Cathedral MU Communion Service
Saturday 7 April:       AFIA Families’ Reunion at the Community Farm, Laverstock
Monday 9 April:         Lady Day

Finally, I would like to close this piece by giving heartfelt thanks to Revd Sr Ann-Marie for presiding, and to Sr Isabel for joining with her in celebrating our February Eucharist in the Cathedral. This was a very special occasion, as permission had been kindly given by the Cathedral to hold a Celtic Eucharist following the Iona liturgy. I am most grateful to all the Cathedral staff for their support in enabling us to celebrate this Eucharist.

It was a very cold day and our numbers were small, but the fellowship of that Eucharist was deep and full of love and will be remembered by all those who attended. Revd Sr Ann- Marie and Sr Isabel are leaving the Diocese on 18 March to carry on their inspiring work in the Ring of Kerry. You have both been wonderful friends and supporters of Mothers’ Union and you will be missed by us all.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

With love and prayers to you all,


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