At St. Andrew’s over thirty of us meet on the first Thursday of each month at 2.00pm in the Abbey Hall, when we have a speaker, followed by a cup of tea and a general time of catching up with each others news and views. On the third Thursday of the month we join the regular 10.15am folk at the Communion Service and follow this with coffee in the Abbey Hall and prayers at 11.45am. We always start our meetings with prayer, the backbone of the society, and we have a ‘Wave of Prayer’ which is a prayer chain that stretches throughout the world and links the whole Mothers’ Union in a continuous cycle of prayer.
We have a link with Malawi, through Dot and Mac Forsyth. Recently we sent a donation to them which they used to purchase two sewing machines to make patchwork quilts for their families, friends and the wider community. One of our members travelled there for a visit at the end of March, taking cottons, needles, scissors and other sewing equipment that had been generously donated by our members.
Over the last two years we have been involved in a wide range of different projects such as baby vest and knitted teddy bears for overseas children and contributions to the Mother and Baby unit at the YWCA in Plymouth. We serve lunches at the mid week lunch time services and coffee to The Forum each Tuesday.
History of the Mothers’ Union
The Mothers’ Union was founded by Mary Sumner. She was one of three children and her long life began with happiness, was fulfilled in a contented marriage and ended with an unruffled faith in a life hereafter. Mary had a Christian upbringing and in a biography of her by Olive Parker, entitled “For the Sake of the Family”, we are informed that ‘Mary’s every day began when her mother gathered the children round her for Bible reading and prayers.’ Mary married George, a clergyman, and three years after their marriage they moved to the village of Old Alresford, near Winchester. They lived in the Rectory there for thirty-four years and during that time they had a son and a daughter and became grandparents. In 1876 when Mary was almost fifty she invited mothers to a meeting, both from her own social class and from the ‘cottages’ – a revolutionary mix of people in her time. However, at the first meeting she took fright and asked her husband to speak to them! It was only the following week when the group reassembled that she found the courage to tell them what was on her mind. In later years she would encourage the timid by this account of her fearfulness when embarking on a new piece of service for her Master.
So began the movement now know as the Mothers’ Union. Today it is the world’s largest and most widely spread Christian family society and its five objectives are:
- To uphold Christ’s teaching on the nature of marriage and to promote it’s wider understanding;
- To encourage parents to bring up their children in the faith and life of the church;
- To maintain a world-wide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service;
- To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children;
- To help those whose family life has met with adversity.
Why not join us?
The Mothers’ Union meets on the first Thursday of the month at 2pm in the Abbey Hall and on the third Thursday of the month at 10.15am for communion in church.
Are you interested in joining us? If so speak to Ann Davey or any other member of our society. We always welcome new members.