|Mothers' Union -100 years old||
"NOT JUST THE TEA MAKERS" 17 MARCH 1905 - 17 MARCH 2005
Extracts from Wrington Parish Magazine Feb. 1905, April 1905, July 1905
February 1905: "It is proposed to found a Branch of the Mothers' Union in this Parish. The aim and object of the Union will be explained more fully later on, but it may be summed up thus: that it is a Union of Wives and Mothers of all classes to raise and maintain a high standard of moral and religious life in their homes.
April 1905: "Mothers' Union. Mrs Yorke Fausser addressed two meetings in this place on Wednesday, March 1st, with reference to the above Union, of which a Branch was started on March 17th, when 15 members were enrolled in Church. There were many we know who were prevented by sickness and other causes from attending the afternoon service, therefore we have arranged an Evening Meeting to take place in Mrs Young's Reading Room on Friday, 14th April at 7.30 when we hope that many more mothers will come to join the Union."
July 1905: "A meeting of the Mothers' Union will be held on Wednesday July 5th in Mrs Young's Room at 7.30pm. Mrs Wood has kindly consented to give an address.
On 17th March 2005 we celebrate the centenary of our MU Branch and it is interesting to note that the Branch still meet in the Reading Room, (formally called Mrs Young's Room) as it did in 1905. The Mothers' Union began in a country rectory at Old Alresford, Hampshire in 1876. Mary Sumner (wife of the Rector) started a meeting for the mothers in the Parish. It is said that when the women arrived at the Rectory for the first meeting Mary took fright and sent her husband to talk to them! However she soon gained confidence and became a very accomplished public speaker. We are now a world-wide society with over three million members in 74 countries.
Our Mission Statement reads: The MU is a Christian organisation which promotes the well being of families world-wide. We achieve this by:
1) developing prayer and spiritual growth in families;
2) studying and reflecting on family life and marriage, and their place in society;
3) resourcing our members to take practical action to improve conditions for families, both nationally and in the communities in which they live.
A branch was opened at Redhill in 1937 and in 1963 it became part of our Wrington MU, so we are now Wrington and Redhill MU. Their banner still hangs in Redhill Church.
In 1962 the first housing development was taking place in Wrington, with new estates at South Meadows, Brooklyn and Orchard Close. There was an influx of young families so we formed an Evening Young Wives Group to provide a meeting point for "old" and "new" Wrington. It ran for about 10 years, closing in 1972. Inevitably with changing lifestyles, younger women were returning to the workplace, so in 1991 EMU was launched for those who preferred an evening meeting because of daytime commitments. We are one Branch with some members supporting both meetings.
The Branch supports all church activities with a special interest in family matters. We have provided School Leavers Conferences, Baptismal sponsors and parties, cared for the church fabric cleaning the Lady Chapel and Sanctuary and working kneelers. We support our Diocesan MU projects - we made baby gowns for still-born babies to be used in local hospitals.
We provided Story Bags for use in the Children's Corner, sponsored Parenting Courses and enabled a local family to enjoy a holiday through the "Away from it all" scheme. We collected household essentials and Easter eggs for the Women's Refuges and sent sheets to a poverty stricken village in Mozambique. We sent a team to work in the Safe Play Area at HMP Cornhill, Shepton Mallet, and are now sending volunteers to work in the new MU Child Contact Centre that operates fortnightly between Christ Church Clevedon and Christ Church Nailsea.
Looking beyond the parish, the MU has an accredited representative at the UN working for the empowerment of women. We supported the Jubilee Debt Campaign and the MU received a large donation from Comic Relief to fund literacy projects in Burundi for five years.
Our monthly meetings follow a pattern of worship and prayer with Speakers related to our MU activities. Our Prayer Group offers daily intercession for those who are sick or frail and in need of support. The monthly Holy Communion is a strength of our Branch. MU membership is open to anyone (men included) who has been baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity and promises to support the MU Aims and Objectives. The Branch meet on the 3rd Wednesday at 2.45pm and EMU at 7.30 on the 4th Thursday -both in the Reading Room. Visitors are welcome at all meetings.
If you would like to know more about our work, both nationally and world-wide visit our website - www.bathandwells.org.uk/mothers_ union