Mothers' Union November 2017

We were very pleased to welcome Viki Lee to our meeting. Viki gave us an in depth talk about Kids’ Stuff. Kids’ Stuff was launched in January 2013 and one of our members, June Dolphin, was very much involved at their beginnings. Kids’ Stuff has at its core  the aim to help all children in the Stroud district to have the clothes, equipment and furniture they need. They are involved with helping people to start over again, supporting victims of domestic violence, helping single dads to build a home and helping families to make ends meet. They work alongside the food bank and the furniture bank and are based at Brimscombe port. Viki told us of their vision to meet in the different communities around Stroud making Kids’ Stuff better known and available to those who need their help. We had a very thought provoking evening.

We were so happy to welcome Gladys back after her stay in hospital. We had a lovely evening of fellowship.

Our next meeting will be homespun. We may be making stars for our Christmas Crib service. It will definitely be a craft evening.

With love Glenis x


Dear Members – A reminder from last month’s note…

It’s that time of the year again! We are asking for your subscription for 2018.  Ordinary Membership is £24.00 and Indoor Membership is £16.00.  Please give your subscription to me as soon as possible. I need to have all the money in by the end of the year. Many thanks for your support. With love,   Kay


Mothers’ Union Annual Meeting, Edinburgh

This year the Mothers’ Union Annual Meeting was held in Edinburgh and, as usual, a number of us from the Gloucester Diocese used it as an excuse to have a short holiday together.

We stayed in Stirling and, because of the distance, it was decided to take two days over the journey north and to do some sightseeing on the way. We headed up the M5/6 and stopped for lunch at a National Trust property in Cheshire. Quarrybank Mill was a cotton mill and it has been restored so that the weaving process can be watched – very similar to the working of our former cloth mills but without the heavy wool smell I remember. From there we went on to spend the night in Lancaster. Next morning we went into the Lake District and visited Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage and Beatrix Potter’s home, Hilltop, travelling past many of the lakes on our way. Replete with local ice cream and other delicacies we then completed the journey to our hotel in Stirling.

The plan for the next day was to cross Scotland to Oban for lunch before driving through Glencoe. Sadly the road to Oban was closed as a result of an accident so we went straight to Glencoe – heavy cloud made the area especially atmospheric and brooding. We completed our day by driving back through the Trossachs – bright with autumn colours. On Thursday the coach and my colleagues went off to Edinburgh to visit the Royal Yacht and to see some of the city’s sights. As some will know, my son lives just north of Edinburgh so, instead of joining the trip, I had the adventure of travelling by bus to spend the day with my grandchildren.

The Festival service was held on Friday evening so the group was able to explore Stirling, with its castle, museums and shops during the morning before setting off. The numbers attending meant that the service had to be held in two venues – St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. John’s Episcopal Church on Princes Street. The Gloucester group had tickets for the Cathedral. Our preacher was the Primus (Archbishop) of Scotland, the Most Revd. Mark Strange. Before the service he was walking around the Cathedral in highland dress with a purple episcopal shirt and matching socks. Dorothy Marshall, one of our Gloucester Diocesan presidents, seeing him, not realising he was the Archbishop, asked if she could have her photo taken with him – only when the service began was she a little embarrassed to realise who he was. In his interesting and sometimes amusing sermon he said that he didn’t expect or want Mothers’ Union members to be angels but we could be angelic – spreading the good news, caring for the needy and defending those who needed defending – very thought provoking. It was also good to be worshipping with a vast throng of fellow members.

The meeting, on Saturday, was held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre – a very good and comfortable venue. It was filled with over 1000 members. The theme of the meeting was Peace and Reconciliation – much needed in this troubled time. After the opening worship, by the Bishop of Edinburgh and a welcome from the Scottish Provincial President, we had short presentations by Lynne Tembey, our Worldwide President, and Bev Jullien, the Chief Executive, telling of what they had been doing in the year.

Much of the day, however, with a session in the morning followed by another in the afternoon, was spent listening to the Keynote Speaker, Canon Sarah Snyder, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative for Peace and Reconciliation. She told us of work she, and others, had been doing in Britain and abroad, including in Israel and African countries where there is conflict. Getting people to meet and talk led to better understanding. She also told us of what we could do – women and mothers are usually those who work for peace and reconciliation in the family – we can take those skills outside the family setting. There is also the ministry of the teapot – so much can be achieved by sitting down with someone and talking through issues over a cup of tea – again something women are good at. The final worship emphasised the two themes and we went away with much to think about.

We weren’t returning home until Monday so more sightseeing was planned for Sunday. Sadly the weather was rather inclement. The day began with a short drive to Dunblane Cathedral where they were celebrating harvest – like us they collected for the local foodbank. Dunblane Cathedral is one of the few Church of Scotland churches which retain the title of cathedral. Although still regularly used for worship it is maintained by Historic Scotland. After the service, one of the Elders gave us a short talk about the cathedral’s history – it is the oldest church in Scotland still used for worship. We then joined the congregation for a nice cup of coffee. It was still raining when we reached the little town of Calandar where we had lunch so little sightseeing was done. The plan for the afternoon had been a cruise on Loch Katrine but by general agreement that was abandoned and we went back to pack ready for the morning.

A good and interesting time was had by all – next year we’re off to Swansea – why don’t you join us?