We continue to produce resources to support people for as long as we find ourselves in this difficult period. New resource additions include indoor member reflections and a resource for looking after your mental health during COVID-19 written by mental health counsellor Raymond Farrell.
It is our aim to combat feelings of loneliness that may arise and help everyone stay upbeat during these challenging times. Feel free to download and use our wealth of resources at the below link:
Detailed Information for Mothers' Union
On behalf of all in the virtual Mary Sumner House, a heartfelt thank you for the amazing work which you are continuing to do for others through COVID-19, and for your continued love and prayerful support – it means a lot.
Thank you also so much for responding, if and where you are able to, financially or in prayer, to the urgent appeal which was sent out recently. We are working hard centrally to reduce costs as much as possible, so that we can “bridge the gap” to cover the reduced income – this includes cancellation of events and a freeze on travel. I ask you to keep The Board of Trustees in your prayers as they meet together (virtually) next week to look at how the rest of the year and the future may look for MU.
Very soon, half of our staff will be on furlough and so please bear with us as there may be more delay than usual in responding to queries. We are also all being flexible to “do what needs to be done”, so individuals will be covering for essential work which would normally be undertaken by somebody else.
With love and prayers,
Bev and your Mary Sumner House Team
Mothers' Union Members in Action
As new challenges emerge, we are rising to them, adapting by nurturing faith and taking practical action. Within Britain and Ireland, members are producing thousands of items of protective equipment for key workers.
You can read about our membership in action across Britain and Ireland here.
Meanwhile, spanning the globe, Mothers' Union members are encouraging good hygiene practices and playing an active role in the delivery of vital supplies.
You can read about our members' activities in an international context here.
We continue to produce new resources to support people through this difficult period. The resources available range from guides on how to stay connected using digital technology to an information leaflet covering ideas for observing the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
It is our aim to combat feelings of loneliness that may arise and help everyone stay upbeat during these challenging times.
The Resources Page
A Reminder of How to Stay in Touch
There remains a number of ways you can stay in touch with us and help others to stay connected to the wider movement.
We are running midday prayers Monday - Saturday on our public Facebook page. Thousands of you have viewed these already, but for those interested and not aware, feel free to watch and comment.
Please remember to share the following sign up link with anyone you think may be interested in receiving this newsletter: bit.ly/mothersunionemails
You can subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive our updates and video content:
Thy Kingdom Come goes Online
The Thy Kingdom Come event due to be held at Coventry Cathedral has been cancelled.
However, we hope you can join us on May 22nd at 2:00PM as we hold a service on our Facebook Page as a 'Watch Party'. This will be a video which you can comment on as you watch, allowing more interaction and increased engagement.
This promises to be an exciting and powerful service so don't miss it! Be sure to follow our Facebook Page for further updates - more details coming soon.
Other 2020 Event Updates
As mentioned last time, the Growing in Hope & Confidence Together conference is having to be rescheduled as it was due to take place in June. The Conference Planning group will be letting everyone know about the future plans as soon as possible and also about other ways in which we can share and learn from each other in the meantime.
Mothers' Union Annual Gathering (formally the General Meeting) 2020 will no longer be taking place on 26th September. We can confirm that it has been rescheduled for the same venue, the ICC in Belfast, on 25th September 2021. There will be a thanksgiving service taking place in the Cathedral on Friday 24th September 2021.
An updated information pack will be available towards the end of this year.
Communities of Interest
We have recently launched our web-based Communities of Interest - a place for members with particular interests to find relevant information and to share their experiences and ideas with other MU members in Britain & Ireland.
For those of you who are Britain & Ireland members, you will be able to access the Communities of Interest by clicking on the link on the right hand menu of your ‘My Account’ page. This will take you to the main Communities of Interest page with a video to explain more about how to look at - and hopefully get involved – in the communities that interest you.
Summer 2020 edition of Families First
This edition was due to land on doormats at the end of May but unfortunately due to transitioning to home-working, articles being rewritten to reflect the current global situation, and the urgency of an appeal that we produced and launched in April, summer 2020 Families First will now reach you in mid-June.
Thank you to all those who have already completed our online questionnaire. If you’ve haven’t done so already, please let us know your thoughts on our future publication at bit.ly/publicationquestionnaire
The Mothers’ Union online shop continues to serve the membership.
Find our new collection of crafting activities for all the family online at mueshop.org
Please let us know if you have a story for the newsletter - email email@example.com and tell us all about it!
Garstang St Thomas Mothers' Union:
Caring for the Community in the time of Coronavirus
A Foodbank Donation point was first set up by the Mothers 'Union at St Thomas' Church in Garstang about six years ago. Over the years, we have responded to emergency requests for help for local families initially coming from the Wyre Rural Children's Center based at St Thomas' School and since its closure from the Children and Families Well Being Service. At other times we have responded to individual requests for help, donated food to the foodbank in Morecambe and more recently to the Trussell Trust satellite foodbank based at St Lawrence's Church, Longridge.
The onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic has presented us with a new challenge. Almost at once, our school expressed concern for some of our school families where lockdown had led to job losses. Requests came from the Children and Families Well Being Service and from within our church family. The two or three families we were supporting beforehand soon increased to ten. It seemed as though, almost overnight, our donation point was transformed into a mini, fully operational foodbank. In no time at all we found ourselves supporting twenty adults and twenty-five children, including three babies, on a weekly basis. Three of these families also had special dietary needs.
Appeals went out for donations of food, nappies, cleaning, laundry and personal items etc. Our members and our church family all responded generously. However, it soon became apparent that some of our families were entirely dependent on whatever they received from us each week. Quite a responsibility! In the middle of April, we made a successful bid for funding from the Lancashire Covid 19 Community Fund and received £ 500. Other members, unable to shop and contribute in kind, helped to swell the coffers with financial donations. Nine weeks into the lockdown we are still able to maintain weekly food deliveries, providing the essential needs of each family.
As most of our members are of an age where self-isolation is a must, the real heroines of our foodbank service have been Kathryn Sperring, one of our younger members and her daughter Anna, a student at Durham University. Every week, they have faithfully made up the boxes for each family and delivered them to the doorstep. We are very grateful to them for their devotion and to all our members and people in the wider community who have been so incredibly generous with their regular donations.
You can see Kathryn and Anna in action if you visit Garstang St Thomas Church on You Tube or click on the link below.