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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Mothers' Union Rounds Off 2016

by Michael Ford last modified 20 Dec, 2016 11:50 AM

Seasonal news of activism, giving and saying thank you, courtesy Diocesan President Rosie Stiven.

As you have already seen, last month MU was heavily involved with the 16 Days of Activism Campaign against Gender Based Violence between 29 November and 10 December.

At the beginning of November, we also had a Thank-You Lunch for our team who have looked after the MU mobile home at Rockley Park. We gathered for lunch at the Members’ Club, Rockley Park and a jolly time was had by all.

President thanks Chris Long and Pam Elliot [Nov 2016]_

Rosie (centre) thanks Chris Long and Pam Elliot

Our mobile home is now closed for the winter but will reopen in the Spring. Bookings are welcome: please contact MU Office via 01722 333402.

I was also delighted to visit the Church Group for toddlers and their parents, grandparents and helpers at All Saints in Whiteparish. It was a delight to be amongst such a friendly and happy group and I really enjoyed those action songs. I would like to thank Jane Lax and Revd Jane Dunlop for inviting me and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Now, into December and we are really getting into the mood for Christmas. Going along to a beautiful Advent Carol Service in the Lady Chapel of Sherborne Abbey has to be a real highlight of the season. Especially as it was followed by tea and mince pies and – wait for it – Christingle making! Yes, I think Nick and I went to bed that night dreaming of oranges! But we had lots of fun and it was such a joy to be with the Sherborne group. Thank you to Josephine Higgs for organising such a wonderful day.

Sherborne Christingle 1 [Dec 2016]   Sherborne Christingle 2 [Dec 2016]

Christingle busyness in Sherborne

Next, over to St. John’s, Winterslow, and another very special Advent Carol Service – this time for the whole community and my thanks go to Ruth Banks for organising this truly whole community event. The atmosphere was really special. This was an inspiring Service and I am most grateful for the very generous donations to our MU Holiday Fund.

Ruth Banks with MU Banner [Dec 2016]

Ruth Banks with Winterslow's banner

The final event of the year for Wilton Branch was the Eucharist with Carols, followed by tea and decorating the Christmas tree with 5p pieces. The aim is to completely cover the Christmas tree in silver, which is then donated to the MU Holiday Fund. Well done Wilton, that’s a beautiful Christmas tree!

Wilton group and Christmas tree [Dec 2016]

The Wilton group with the finished tree, covered in 5p pieces

But it hasn’t been all Carol Services. For Mothers’ Union, December is the month for our Angel Tree Project when, in collaboration with Prison Fellowship, the Mothers’ Union organises and wraps Christmas presents for the children of Dads in Erlestoke and Guys Marsh Prisons.

Brenda Birt, Joanne Triffitt and team all got together for the Guys Marsh wrapping day during the first week and Liz Goater, Sandra Gamble, Jocelyn Short and MU members of West Lavington Branch gathered on 12 December to wrap the presents for Erlestoke.

I would like to thank Janet Hodges, Leader of West Lavington for arranging a lovely gathering for the present wrapping. We came together for Eucharist and this was followed by delicious sandwiches and cakes which were available throughout the afternoon as we worked.

Angel Tree West Lavington- MU Chaplain Jacqui Clark and Liz Goater wrap presents [Dec 2016] 

MU Chaplain Jacqui Clark wraps presents with Liz Goater

Angel Tree West Lavington- the MU group with the presents [Dec 2016]

The West Lavington group with the presents

My sincere thanks go to both teams who have worked so hard to make the Angel Tree Project work and to all members and friends who have been so generous with their donations of money and wrapping paper for this project. Your generosity really does count as this year 79 children from 38 families will receive individually wrapped presents on Christmas Day – God bless them all.

And so, as the year closes, may I thank you all for supporting the work of the Mothers’ Union throughout the Diocese. Thank you for helping us to spread the love of Christ to all. And may I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a New Year full of joy and peace.

Rosie Stiven


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