Lynne Tembey, Worldwide President of the Mothers’ Union spent several days discovering just a little of what Mothers’ Union members get up to around the diocese.
Lynne is passionate about meeting members on the ground. On Thursday she toured Ripon Cathedral and met with a group who regularly offer midday prayers. (Every day a Wave of Prayer goes round the world as Mothers’ Union members from 83 countries and our own diocese stop to pray at midday for the work of MU and international issues. This practice began in 1920.) In the afternoon Lynne went on to Boroughbridge to enroll new member, Kath Ambrose and speak to the group there.
Friday saw Lynne in Wakefield visiting a unit for mums aged 16-21. Manager and staff explained how the unit is funded to give extra help to young mums who need a bit more support for the first few months of their baby’s life. Judith Holding and Eileen Warburton, who collect and deliver items on behalf of all members to support the unit, were also on hand to explain more.
Lunch at St Catherine’s Sandal followed where Denis, one of the churchwardens, is an enthusiastic member of the Mothers’ Union. Lynne was delighted to chat with him, suggesting that he might like to help recruit more men to the organisation.
In the afternoon Lynne went to New Hall Prison, spending two hours with Marlene Bramley and Molly Batty, long term volunteers at the prison. Over 50 members volunteer on rotas to help in the Mother & Baby Unit and man a tea bar serving visitors five days a week. She met with Trustees, Ven Peter Townley (Diocesan Mothers’ Union Chaplain) and Bishop Nick Baines and his wife, Linda in the evening.
On Saturday Lynne was the keynote speaker at the Mother’s Union Diocesan Council in Headingley. She set the inspirational tone of the day with a warm and encouraging talk reflecting on her encounters with Mothers’ Union members, not just in this county but across the globe. Lynne reassured the meeting that if you ask God what he wants you to do or be he will give you the skills. She also asked members not only to say the Mary Sumner Prayer, but live it.
Jean Thurman, MU President of the Diocese of Leeds explained how the 2612 members across the diocese had raised £31,023 in 2016 for MU initiatives as well as donating almost 10,000 items from cakes to travel cots, not to mention the bags of donated items.
In the afternoon members heard more about the ongoing work of the Mother & Baby Unit at New Hall. They also heard from Anita Ruckledge MBE, the dementia Lead Nurse at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust. She explained something of the many forms of dementia and how they impact on the lives of patients and families. She thanked Mother’s Union members for their generosity in providing Twiddle Muffs and Fiddle Blankets for patients.
“They are always needed” she explained “because they can only be used by one person due to infection control.”
Anita was given two boxes full of new Twiddle Muffs..
Jean Thurman reflected on a very busy few days:
“It was a privilege to spend time with Lynne. Her energy, her faith and her enthusiasm for our wonderful organisation is an inspiration to us all. Please continue to pray for her and for all Mothers’ Union work across the world.”