Monday, 5 December 2016

"This Is A Human World"

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Dec, 2016 12:16 PM

Mothers’ Union hold a special Cathedral service and marched in London as part of the ‘16 Days of Activism’ campaign against gender based violence.

On the crisp and frosty morning of 29th November, members and friends of Mothers’ Union from all over the Diocese gathered in the Trinity Chapel, Salisbury Cathedral, to mark their support for the Global Campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. The 16 Day Campaign began on 25th November and concludes on 10th December.

The Reverend Joanna Naish presided at this standing-room-only Holy Communion, which she had also lovingly prepared. Our Mothers’ Union Chaplain, the Reverend Jacqui Clark, delivered a moving Homily and members took part in the Scripture reading and Intercessions. In her Homily, Jacqui shared with us stories of violence and abuse which she had encountered at home and abroad during her professional life. Her reflections were graphic and at times, heartrending and her words really did make you make you sit up and take note:

‘This is not a man’s world – it is a human world, to be shared safely by humans of any gender, age or race.’

Her Homily concluded with the following charge:

‘Girls, boys, women and men all bear God’s image. It’s about time we began cherishing each other as such, and that begins with us!’

Her inspiring words led us into our Prayers. As we held up our Prayer beads with the three ribbons, we focussed on the purple ribbon which symbolised the past. This brought to mind those who live with a history of abuse. Next, we held the gold ribbon. This symbolised the present. We reflected that we are all made in God’s image and gave thanks for His loving and transforming presence with us all. Finally, as we held the white ribbon, we asked for the light of Christ to be with us and to dawn on all who live in darkness.

At the conclusion, we gathered up the very large collection of household articles and cleaning materials which had been generously donated by our members for the Salisbury Women’s Refuge.

Our thanks to Jo and Jacqui for providing us with an inspiring and truly memorable Service.

I mentioned earlier that the 16 Days Activism Campaign began on 25th November. The start of the Campaign was marked by Mothers’ Union members marching on Downing Street in support of survivors of Domestic Abuse.

The march started from the Chapel in Mary Sumner House after a ‘Global Moment’ of Prayer for all those who have suffered and who continue to suffer from violence and abuse. The march continued along Millbank and then on to Downing Street to hand in a petition, signed by over 4,500 of our members, which we hope will force the government to reconsider the rules for survivors of domestic abuse.

The Mothers’ Union has zero tolerance for all forms of gender based violence and abuse.

 

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