MU Trustees Annual Report 2020

MU Trustees Annual Report 2020 (click to view)


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

Parenting for faith

Flame, creative children’s ministry

Pinterest has so many ideas to chose from.

The kitchen table project

The Bible society

Scripture union


Nat Stiles      email:


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


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.


Spotlight on Wellingborough Deanery


  • All Hallows
  • All Saints
  • Earls Barton
  • The Harrowdens and Orlingbury
  • Wollaston and Strixton

Our Deanery Leader is Barbara Haynes, the past President of the diocesan Mothers’ Union.

We come together as a Deanery to meet after Forum, to celebrate at our annual Deanery Festival and to hold a social evening to fund our current project. We are a deanery that believes in working together and also enjoy each other’s company during social and fund raising events.

Our project just completed was ‘purse bells’.

After hearing that a member’s purse had been stolen we decided to be pro-active in trying to make purses more secure. We purchased bells and the components to make them able to be fixed to purses. Several members met to put them together one afternoon. They have now been completed and distributed to every member in the deanery. Not only will they deter purse thieves but also if we hear them, and we will, we will be pretty sure that a M.U. member is in the vicinity.

We are now supporting the new Night Shelter in Wellingborough by supplying filled toiletry bags and towels for the people using the centre. The branches are now busy preparing these bags ready for when the shelter opens on 1st November 2019. This project will be on-going.

All Hallows meet once a month and have a Corporate Communion on the first Saturday of the month in The Lady Chapel at 9.30 which is open to all.

All Saints meet monthly in the church’s Lady Chapel and always begin with a said Communion service. We enjoy hearing from the varied speakers, with our talks based on the theme for the year. We are a prayerful and practical branch with projects including caring for the church’s children’s corner, providing toiletries for the Skylark Ward at Kettering General Hospital, and observing what is needed and getting on and doing it [M.U.L.O.A].

Earls Barton branch meets in member’s homes, and is run by a committee of the members. This group are very active in their village and help out at village events.

The Harrowdens & Orlingbury meet monthly for prayer & fellowship, offering support to the Rector of the Benefice, providing Baptism cards and Baptism anniversary cards. They are also committed to supporting MU Charities and projects.

Wollaston & Strixton branch hold quarterly, seasonal meetings. Due to the maturity of the members, they work to their strengths and are committed to fund-raising for the Mothers’ Union projects and also to praying for the Church and Mothers’ Union. This year they have raised over £500.00 for Mothers’ Union projects worldwide.


Message from the President Elect, Jill Cannings

Sharing my passion for Mother’s Union – in step with God

As we prepare for the next triennial I thought I would share a little of my passion for Mothers’ Union.  I look forward to visiting branches and attending events during my time as your President, and sharing stories together.

I often say I was “ordered” to join MU about 38 years ago by the then Branch leader.  She was a forceful and very organized person with a military background.  In fact I remain very indebted to her.  At that stage I had two young children and have memories of going along to meetings where they played.  However, when they went to school I returned to work and was no longer able to attend the day time meetings.  However, I remained a member, paying my subscription every year as I thought that MU was such an important worldwide organization supporting Christian family life.  At one point we had some evening meetings and I got more involved.  However, it was not until I retired in 2010 that I was able to take an active role.  The branch leader “saw me coming” and invited me onto the committee and very soon I took over the Uppingham branch.

When I enroll new members and read out the purpose and aims of the organization I am very pleased to be a part of it.  It seems difficult to understand why every Christian, male or female young or old, would not wish to be a member.  I am inspired by the Mary Sumner and the Mothers’ Union prayers.  But most of all I am inspired by our loving, faithful, forgiving God.  I pray that we will work together as the body of Christ serving our communities prayerfully, and when possible in action.  We all have a part to play in building God’s Kingdom.  I thank people for their support and prayers so far and look forward to the next phase as we journey together.


New Diocesan President

At our forum meeting we elected our new diocesan president for the triennial beginning on 1st January 2019. The president elect is Mrs. Jill Cannings. Congratulations Jill. Peterborough diocese will be in good hands.

Barbara Haynes . D.P.


16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

Begins on 25th November and ends on 10th December 2016

Join us for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, to call for an end to all forms of violence against women and girls – One in three women across the world will be affected by domestic violence at some point in their life.

Some of you may recall that last year Mothers’ Union had a designated area, in Church, to pray for those who have been abused, neglected or overlooked. Useful resources were also available to take away…

This year there will also be an opportunity to write your prayer to God and attach it to a prayer tree. Please spend a few moments remembering those who need our prayers…

On December 2nd from 11 a.m. –noon there will be a diocesan vigil at St. Peter and Paul Kettering, as part of the 16 days. The vigil will be followed by a faith lunch.

Everybody is welcome to attend.

This is a very important ‘campaign’ and our support is essential.

If members are unable to come perhaps they could spend some time quietly in prayer either in groups or individually. After all prayer underpins all that we do .

Thank you.


Upcoming Events

Visit to


Post code NG25 0HD


Meet at the minster for tour at 10.45 a.m. or 2.15 p.m.

Holy Communion in the Quire at 12 noon

led by the Reverend Canon Tony Tucker

There is a licensed café at the cathedral, let me know if you want to eat there. A film lasting 30 minutes can be seen before your tour (numbers please for this)

Cost of tour £5 per person

Names to Sue Tringham by July 1st please



Wednesday, July 20th 2016


Post code: NN8 3HA

The Reverend Christine Ostler Theme: Celebration

7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Coffee from 6.30 p.m. Cost £3 per person

Numbers to Sue Tringham by 11th July

Cheques payable to:
The Mothers’ Union (Diocese of Peterborough)



Thursday September 8th 2016



post code NN26 7AJ

Led by The Reverend Catherine Lomas

10.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Coffee from 10 a.m.

Cost £5 per person

Bring your own lunch

Numbers to Sue Tringham by 1st September

Cheques payable to: The Mothers’ Union (Diocese of Peterborough)



Thursday, November 10th 2016


post code PE4 6QE

The Reverend Diane Johnson

Theme: Waiting

10.30 a.m. – 3.30 p.m Coffee from 10 a.m. Cost £6 per person Bring your own lunch

Numbers to Sue Tringham by 1st November

Cheques payable to:
The Mothers’ Union (Diocese of Peterborough)


Mary Sumner Day Celebration – Brackley Deanery

This year we celebrate the wonderful achievement of Mothers’ Union growing from such a small beginning 140 years ago to the massive worldwide movement it has now become.

At a deanery meeting we were discussing what we could do to celebrate this marvelous anniversary. By chance our deanery treasurer had resigned and Helen Overson the daughter of an Astwell branch member had been invited to the meeting to see if she would be interested in becoming treasurer. While we were discussing ways we could commemorate Mary Sumner day, Helen suddenly said ‘I’ll do a 140 mile sponsored walk for you’.

Needless to say we all welcomed this offer and Helen is also our new deanery treasurer.

We bought Helen and a friend Sallie Connery who is doing some of the walk with her, MU tee shirts so people will know which organisation they are walking for.

The walk is starting on Whit Sunday (May 15th) at Astwell Castle and we shall walk about 2 miles to Helmdon church for the benefice service at 11am. The talk during the service will be about Mary Sumner and Helen’s chosen charities. Her chosen charities are: Special Relief and Literacy and Financial Education programmes.

Sponsor forms will be available. Following the service there will be a ‘Bring and share’ picnic lunch and then Helen and anyone else who wishes to join her will walk about 15 miles round the 6 churches which make up the
Astwell benefice.

Helen also plans to go to other places in the country to continue her sponsored walk.

Members of MU are hoping to join Helen for part of the walk.


Mad Or What Again! – More Fundraising For MU

Last year I did a half marathon and pledged never to go through that sort of thing again.  However, as the Mother’s Union celebrates 140 years I stupidly hatched the plan to play 140 holes of golf in one week.  That’s a lot of golf and walking and searching for balls.  During the summer I like to play a couple of times a week.  Each round is 18 holes.  In order to reach my target, I will need to play more than one round a day especially as I plan to leave Sunday as a day of rest and worship.


I will do this W/C June 6th and will mainly be playing at my home course Greetham Valley golf club.  I want to make it fun so would love it if people want to walk round with me or ride in style in buggies that can be hired.  You can then enjoy a drink and or/ meal in the clubhouse while I flog round!!


If you feel able to support financially I have set up a Justgiving site which is easy to use and sorts out gift aid.  If you prefer I have a sponsorship form (click here to download).  Any cheques should be made payable to “The Mothers’ Union Uppingham branch.” All funds raised will go towards the work of MU overseas.

The Justgiving site is

Please humour me with lots of encouraging smiles and pray for good weather.

Jill Cannings

MU branch leader Uppingham

Documents: 140 holes – playing times and Why oh why am I planning to play 140 holes of golf in a week.