Mothering Sunday is a day in the year that we put a special focus on the role of mothers and give thanks in particular for our mothers. This year at St Nicholas we are shining the spotlight on mothers around the world as we celebrate the work of the Mother’s Union.
The Mothers Union was founded in Winchester over 140 years ago by Mary Sumner who wanted to build a grassroots network of women to support each other as they raised their children. There are now over 4 million members worldwide (including men!) in 84 countries around the world.
Members work at grassroots level bringing hope and practical support to millions of people every year through parenting, literacy and community development programmes. I witnessed something of this myself a few years ago on a visit to a remote part of Kenya – an arid and hostile region in which day to day life was very tough - and saw the life-changing educational and medical support the Mother’s Union offered to local mothers. The Mother’s Union also effectively campaign at local, national and international levels to bring about real change for family life, women’s and girls’ rights and the protection of children.
Local groups have always been at the heart of the work but in recent years, while their role is still vital in many countries, in the UK groups have declined as mothers gain their support in other ways. However, nationally, the Mother’s Union continues to play a valuable role in this country; for example their work in prisons and with prisoners families; with victims of domestic abuse; providing holidays (e.g a mobile home at Rockley Park); and outings for families in need.
After over 60 years the local branch in Corfe Mullen is closing but there is much from their work and impact within this community to celebrate; years of prayer and support for local families, many supportive friendships made and many happy memories of members past and present. And so a special service will be held at 10am at St Nicholas church on Mothering Sunday March 22th. We will be celebrating not only the past but also recognising and honouring the ongoing work of the Mother’s Union worldwide and the way it is adapting to meet the needs of vulnerable families, through its members.
The Lent book club, reading ‘Saying Yes to Life’ will meet on Wednesday evenings at 7-8.15pm on March 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th and April 1st and 8th at St Nicholas Church in the Kingfisher lounge.
Sunday Services: St Huberts: Holy Communion 8am; St Nicholas: Morning worship 10am (with Holy Communion except on 5th Sunday this month when it is Family service)
Revd Jane Burgess