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Mothers’ Union Service November 2020

Due to the pandemic restrictions, we have been unable to meet for Forum and share in a church service as is our custom.

Please join us in this service specially recorded for this occasion featuring Jill Cannings, our Diocesan President, Rev. Deborah Marsh, our Diocesan Chaplain, Nat Stiles, and the choir of Uppingham Church. Please click here to download the accompanying service sheet.

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Communicate Winter 2020

Communicate Winter 2020 (click to view)

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AFIA Mothers Union Report Autumn 2020

AFIA Mothers Union Report Autumn 2020 (click to view)

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MU Trustees Annual Report 2020

MU Trustees Annual Report 2020 (click to view)

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Greeting from Nat Stiles – Youth Worker and MU Member

My name is Nat and I am currently about to start my second-year training as a Children and Youth Minister in the Peterborough Diocese. When my training is finished, I will be working for the Rutland Deanery.

I live on my family farm, with my husband Pete and two teenage daughters Evie 13 and Abigail 16 and up until a year ago I managed a 20,000-bird poultry unit and was making plans for my next move to a bigger farm – silly me!

I have felt God’s call in my life for a while and would like to say I embraced it but being human I doubted I had the skills and knowledge to follow that call, I still do! I have been on our village PCC for a few years and served as Church Warden, I also helped to start a messy Church group, I thought all of these things would ease that sense of God’s calling, but I couldn’t ignore it any longer, so here I am!

I love being part of the Mothers’ Union family; it supports two of the things I am most passionate about, one being intergenerational worship and the other the power of prayer.

I was lucky enough to grow up with both sets of Grandparents and a Great Grandma, and although I didn’t realise it at the time my Great Grandma was the one who helped to sow that first seed of Faith.

My Great Grandma lived independently by herself till the day she passed away at 94, cooking for us all and always making sure to have the sweet jar full, she really was a very special lady. She hadn’t had the easiest of lives, contracting polio as a child left her partially deaf, she lost my Great Grandad to cancer when she was in her early 50’s, she also lost her son to a motor bike accident, he had only just come home from the war.

Her house was always busy with friends and family and I don’t think I ever saw her get cross or say an unkind word. Every night she would kneel next to her bed to pray even at 94, and when having a sleep-over I would kneel next to her, I didn’t really understand it but I knew it felt special. Her faith was very important to her and part of her everyday life, and she gave us the gift of taking the time to share it with us. I was only 14 when she passed away so she never got to see what a difference she made to my faith journey, but I guess she knows.

How privileged we are as Christians to have the opportunity to live out our faith every day, touching the lives of others for Christ.

I grew up in the environment of a large, loving family, a mix of all generations, sharing skills and knowledge with each other and empowering us all when we were young, and now, to go out and try to succeed in some things and make mistakes with others, with the confidence they would be there to support.

I now live next door to my sister and my mum and dad aren’t far away, and we have tried to do the same with our two girls and my nephew – it is a team effort!

But family doesn’t just mean someone we are related to, people I have met over the years have had a huge impact on my life, my Church family is one of them. As a Church it’s so important that we come together to worship and learn from each other.

It continues to amaze me the things children and young people say, things that can completely turn your thoughts around, they look at scripture with different eyes. I find they help me to think about how my faith and the way I share Christ with others, which can make a real difference and be so relevant in these new and sometimes troubling times.

Praise God for the individual gifts and skills we all have to offer across the generations, and though we may never know the difference we make to others, we just have to trust in the awesome wonder of His plans.

‘We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders he has done’ Psalm 78:4

 

Here are some family friendly links to some easy to use resources, if I can be of further help please get in touch, I would also love to hear about any resources you have found useful.

The Church of England, Faith at Home

https://www.churchofengland.org/faith-action/faith-home

Parenting for faith

https://parentingforfaith.org/

Flame, creative children’s ministry

https://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/

Pinterest has so many ideas to chose from.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/

The kitchen table project

https://kitchentable.org.uk/

The Bible society

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/

Scripture union

https://content.scriptureunion.org.uk/

 

Nat Stiles      email: uppinghamyouthandchildren@gmail.com

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Past Events

70km MU Prayer Pilgrimage 2019

To mark her 70th birthday Jill came up with the idea of a walking 70kms on a Prayer Pilgrimage.  She identified a 2 week period in July 2019 and Deaneries planned walks.  On the first day we were sent off with prayer by the Vice Dean from Peterborough Cathedral.  Numerous supporters turned up to see us off.  Each day Jill walked with various people.  We visited St Botolfs and were treated to refreshments and prayers led by Rev’d Barbara.  This was the pattern most days.  That day we also visited St Paul’s church, and Paston and Werrington branches.

Day two involved some challenging field walks around the churches in Rutland deanery led by Rev’d Deborah Marsh.  We were welcomed by various church members and wardens.  They no longer have MU branches, but many still have banners.  After covering 11kms on foot we covered the final two churches by car, and ended by joining others in evening prayer in Whissendine.

Next stop was organized by Kettering deanery and again involved some challenging cross country terrain.  We started by joining the regular weekday Eucharist. After coffee we walked to Thorpe Malsor for prayer and lunch. We were joined by other supporters.  Then to Loddington and Orton for prayer, and finally a very splendid tea back in Rushden.

At the end of the first week Jill started in her own church in Uppingham and was sent off with prayer from the Eucharist.  Today she was joined by other members and two miniature Dachshunds. We prayed in Lyddington and Bisbrooke churches and then returned to Uppingham on the field route.

Week two started at St Peter’s Weston Favell where we prayed with the Vicar David Kirby and a Curate who had just started that day.  We walked again with the little dogs and my grandchildren and another young friend.  We called at Abbington church and were met by many members.  We visited Christchurch to pray and stopped for lunch at St Alban the Martyr.

On Tuesday we were in Wellingborough, greeted by members from All Hallows and All Saints.  Several people walked with us at the start and we prayed for the planned homeless shelter.  An intrepid few set off along the river, but the going was very hard as the path disintegrated.  However, we eventually arrived at St Mary’s Wollaston for prayer, and then a splendid garden party nearby.

On Wednesday we ventured to the south of the Diocese.  We started with a service at Helmdon church and then walked with local members to the Millponds where we prayed and sang. We finished with a wonderful tea joined by several others.

On Thursday 18th July we did 7.09 kms leaving from St Mary’s Higham Ferrers. In the church we processed behind the branch banner and sang.  We walked to Irthlingborough via lanes and the gravel pit lakes. Again we prayed.  We completed our day in Finedon with another wonderful spread of cakes. The Rector, Richard Coles led us in prayer and song.

The summary statistics were

Distance walked 71.90 kms (how accurate is our great and glorious God!)

8 areas over 10days

31 churches visited and prayed in

22 branches visited, often with catering

Met and prayed with 18 clergy

Attended 4 services

Walked with too many to count, including 6 dogs and 3 children

Raised £2,500

Most importantly it was a real prayer pilgrimage, praying for our clergy, their churches and communities.

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Past Events

Visit of Sheran Harper our World Wide President

In May 2019 it was a great joy to welcome Mrs Sheran Harper of Guyana who is our new worldwide president.  She is a woman of great faith and experience.  She has led the parenting programme for MU in many countries, and thereby improved the experiences of countless children and families.  She was accompanied by Provincial President Nikki Sweatman.

Representatives from Peterborough Deanery, complete with banners joined Jill Cannings, Diocesan President to greet them at Peterborough station.  They were touched as the welcoming party greeted them with a worship song.

At a packed open meeting in the Methodist church in Uppingham people were able to hear from Sheran and Nikki about the work of Mothers’ Union in this country and worldwide. Speaking at Sheran’s commissioning earlier that year Archbishop Justin Welby described MU as “the world’s oldest and largest women’s movement.  It is one of the Anglican communion’s greatest gifts to the worldwide church.” Sheran was challenged by him to ensure that MU no longer remained the Anglican communion’s greatest secret.  She spoke with passion about her own journey of involvement in MU and the work undertaken by members.

During this brief visit we were also able to join a prayer group, the backbone of the church, as “prayer warriors” pray for aspects of church life and our communities.  Our visitors heard of the role of the MU lunch club in Kettering which gives a meal and activities for children during the holidays, who would normally receive free school meals.  We held a service of thanksgiving and welcome at St Benedicts Northampton.  More people had the opportunity to hear from Sheran and Nikki. As part of this whistle stop tour of the Diocese they attended a branch meeting in the evening. They were both generous with their time, listening to members and thanking them for their commitment to MU.

Two days later many of us attended a major Mothers’ Union “Thy Kingdom Come” service. We filled Coventry cathedral and the service was streamed across the world.

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Past Events

Answered Prayers in Antigua

Seeking some winter sun, and having never been to the West Indies, I thought I randomly chose Antigua, but have become aware that God’s hand was firmly in control. I knew that Mothers’ Union in the diocese had a link with NECA. However, I did not fully understand what that meant. In fact, it stands for North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba and spans 12 islands.

E mails from NECA were exciting but intermittent depending on the internet. The islands are in the hurricane path and indeed Barbuda was devastated in 2017. I booked my accommodation in Antigua based on thinking I could reach a few points of interest easily. Little did I realise I was near one of the best of the 365 beaches. I was also very near Nelson’s dockyard, a heritage centre, and also the finishing point for the Atlantic rowing race, which provided more interest during my stay.

As I left England, I had limited contact details for Ephena Matthew the Diocesan President. However, prayers were answered and as I waited to board the plane at Gatwick, I got all the details I needed.

The day after my arrival Ephena called round to my accommodation to welcome me. I was invited to a seafood buffet supper to meet lots of MU members and even asked to preach on the Sunday. I worshipped with them each Sunday. Services last 2 hours and you have at least 8 hymns and a good half hour sermon! I also went to a choir festival featuring 23 choirs from across the island. Great fun, but some were better than others and the pews are hard. I went to meetings and socials and found out how they are organised. As Diocesan President Ephena hops across the 12 islands. Once a month they have a MU supported Sunday service. They all wear their white dresses and blue jackets.

I also had plenty of time for relaxation, reading and reflecting in the sun. I return refreshed and inspired by experiencing first hand MU worldwide and their warm welcome and love and vibrant faith.

Jill Cannings Mothers’ Union Diocesan President

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Resources

Communicate Spring 2020

Click here to read Communicate Spring 2020 – you will need software capable of reading PDFs

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Mothers’ Union Retreat at Launde Abbey, 12th – 14th October 2020

DIOCESE OF PETERBOROUGH MOTHERS’ UNION RETREAT

Launde Abbey

Monday 12th to Wednesday 14th October 2020

Theme: 20/20 Vision

MU members are very good at looking after others; we are not always good at looking after ourselves.  There were times when Jesus needed to get away from the crowds and spend time in prayer and contemplation.

A MU retreat, in beautiful surroundings with good food and the company of friends, gives the opportunity for both peace and quiet and also for fellowship.

Total cost: £199.10

A deposit of £39.82 is required when booking.

Send cheque made out to Mothers’ Union Peterborough Diocese

to Lyn Ridley, 58 Britannia Road, Kettering, NN16 9RY.

Some bursaries are available – speak to Lyn.