Bishop Nick, supported by four Episcopal Area Bishops, praised and gave thanks to the Diocesan Mothers’ Union at its first Commissioning Service held at Halifax Minster on Saturday.
In his address, Bishop Nick said the new Diocesan Mothers’ Union was a model of how the transition, from the previous three Dioceses to a structure that met the needs of the new Diocese, could be effectively managed. He thanked the previous and current Presidents for not sitting back and waiting for the changes to be decided by others. He commented that whilst there were some who expected the new Diocese to fail, the Mothers’ Union had worked hard and shown how the re-organisation could be successfully done.
Bishop Nick commissioned Jean Thurman, pictured left, who was presented by the Provincial President Barbara Taylor, as the first Diocesan President of the Diocese of Leeds. Then the Area Presidents; Jean Bailey, Elaine Swinhoe, Mary Thorpe, Josie Birley and Eileen Warburton were all commissioned.
The Commissioning service also included the General Trustees, the Team Leaders and the Diocesan and Area Chaplains. The lessons were read by retiring PresidentsRos Dobbin and Cynthia Osborne. The intercessions were led by a member from each of the Episcopal Areas and then another member from that area placed a candle on the Altar. One of the candle bearers was a young Mothers’ Union member carrying her three-week old baby girl.
During the service the Diocesan Mothers’ Union were presented with gifts from the Mothers’ Union in Sudan brought back by Bishop Toby, from his recent visit to the Diocesan Link there. The offering, after deduction of the Minster expenses will be sent towards the Mothers’ Union 140th Anniversary target of raising £1.4 million to support its work and outreach in the UK and overseas.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Our new Mothers’ Union Area Chaplains:
Revd Bryony Partridge, Chaplain to Bradford Area Mothers’ Union.
I have had a long association with the Mothers’ Union through my Grandmother and my Mother, and I am a Member myself. Mothers’ Union members seem to be good at seeing where there is a need, and then quietly getting on and doing all they can to meet that need. So many lives locally and around the world have been turned around by their work, as they bring practical help and the joy of faith to the people around them. We in our neighbourhoods are called to keep up this good work, and I hope I may be of help in ensuring that together we stay focused, and keep asking God to show us where He wants us to be, and what He wants us to do.
Revd Canon Angela Dick, Chaplain to Huddersfield Area Mothers’ Union
I was thrilled to be invited to become Area Chaplain for the Huddersfield episcopal area of the Mothers’ Union. Having previously served as chaplain in the historical diocese of Wakefield, I know first hand the tremendous work that MU does in response to the call of Jesus to be salt and light to the world. We serve as MU members as people who strive to be confident in our faith in order to transform lives. It is a privilege and joy to take on this role.
Louise Tinniswood, Chaplain to Wakefield Area Mothers’ Union
It was a real privilege to be asked by Bishop Tony if I would take on the role of Mothers’ Union Chaplain for Wakefield Episcopal Area. I’ve heard so much about the organisation and what it does and I was both intrigued to find out more and am ready for the challenges the new role will bring. I see the role of chaplain as being very much part of the mission of Mothers’ Union and would hope that by getting to know the members I would be able to offer spiritual guidance and prayer support in all they do and encourage them in developing and releasing their own gifts, talents and ministries. I was enrolled as a member this week.
Revd Andrew Cromarty, Chaplain to Ripon Area Mothers’ Union
I have previously supported Mothers’ Union in my last two parishes and during my nine years as Area Co-ordinator for CMS in East Anglia I was exposed to the work of Mothers’ Union groups around the world, and met exemplary members in East Africa.
It was a huge privilege both for ourselves and our local team of volunteers to work with the Diocesan Mothers’ Union last year to host a Free Family Fun Day at St Cuthbert’s, Colburn, Catterick Garrison. This proved a great success locally, and significantly raised awareness of the Mother’s Union presence.
I look forward to supporting our Area President and providing whatever encouragement and support that I can. As a parish, we also look forward to hosting the MU Advent Service for our Episcopal Area, here in Colburn, in December.
My wife, Jo, and I are regular subscribers to the excellent ‘Families First’ magazine, and hope to be able to raise the Mothers’ Union profile locally, and help to recruit new members.