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by ajack last modified 08 Dec, 2021 04:51 PM

Did you know 1 in 3 women will be impacted by some form of violence in their life? On Tuesday 30th November, members of the Mother’s Union gathered to help end violence against women and girls and call for an end to all forms of domestic and sexual abuse.

The annual service took place in the Trinity Chapel of Salisbury Cathedral and was led by Revd Joanna Naish, MU Diocesan Chaplain. It formed part of the international campaign, 16 Days of Activism 2021. 

Rosie Stiven, Diocesan President, shares highlights of the event:

"We were delighted to welcome Mrs Ros Hepplewhite, Chairman of the Salisbury Women’s Refuge and friends from the Soroptimists to the Service, together with our own Provincial President, Kathryn Anderson, who gave the Address.

Kathryn’s poignant words focussed our thoughts on those voiceless victims of sexual and domestic abuse. Kathryn brought us news of our Mothers’ Union Global Day of Action, which highlighted #nomore1in3 campaign as well as letting us know that our call to end all forms of domestic and sexual abuse is being listened to in the forum of the United Nations. During the Service, we heard A Woman’s Psalm, so sensitively read by Carrie Walsh:

A Woman’s Psalm, Elizabeth Kaeton, (from Lifting Women’s Voices: Canterbury Press; 2009)

O God, I am a woman in a violent world let me know your peace. 

“Let blind rage born of despair not find its target in me. 

Let the value of my life not be reduced to the jewellery I wear. 

Let my family life not end that life in a gang may begin. 

Let rape not violate my body nor anger ravage my soul. 

Let fear not enter my heart but caution sharpen my mind. 

Let the light of Christ so shine in me that I may reflect your love. 

Let the joy that the apostles knew infuse my spirit and alleviate my pain. 

Let Love who suffered and died on the cross find resurrection and new life in the world you love. 

O God, I am a woman in a violent world, let me know your peace.”

Jayne Davies and Sheila Soper guided us through the Intercessions. Each one of us held a single strip of leather, and for every prayer we offered, we tied a single knot in the leather. The knots served as a reminder to us of all the prayers offered for the victims of violence and abuse throughout the world

Taken from Prayers and Reflections for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and Abuse – The Mothers’ Union publication for 25 November to 10 December 2021:

“Lord, today we make a commitment to take a stand: to say ‘no more 1 in 3’, to use our eyes to see where change needs to be made, to use our voices to challenge injustice in our world. May we support people experiencing abuse, enabling them to reach their full potential and may we call for change. Amen”

Due to the lockdowns, it has been a long time since we have been able to gather together in person to mark and raise awareness of this annual campaign. It was truly heart-warming to see so many of our members come together again. I am immensely grateful to Revd Jo for preparing and leading us through such an important and moving Service. Also, a huge thank you to all our members who have so generously donated items for the Salisbury Women’s Refuge. What a wonderful surprise to see the mountain of gifts in MU Office, donated by members from all corners of the Diocese, which will give such joy and comfort to the families in the Refuge – THANK YOU."

The Mothers’ Union thank the Dean and Chapter for the privilege of holding our Service in the Trinity Chapel, Salisbury Cathedral to mark the 16 Days Campaign.

If you don't know who Mothers' Union are, they are a partner organisation who act within social justice, prayer, residential holidays, prisons, schools, community developments and more to aid families and individuals - members “endeavour to walk ‘In Mary Sumner’s Footsteps’ reaching out and sharing Christian love with all”.

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