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Linked dioceses information

Diocesan factsheet produced for the Wave of prayer.

Kinshasa – News Update.


Our linked Dioceses

Oxford diocese is linked with Mothers’ Union in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Victoria Nyanza in Tanzania, Ahoada and Warri in Nigeria and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The information below can be downloaded as a pdf here.


Focus Magazine

Focus is the Oxford Diocese MU magazine which is published three times a year. A copy is sent by post to every member including Diocesan members and Indoor members.

Every edition includes letters from our Diocesan President and Chaplain, reports of branch and Area activities and details of coming events. There is also a page of Celebrations which record birthdays of members of 80 and over and wedding anniversaries of Ruby and above that have been notified to the Editor. Obituaries are limited to past Office Holders.

The Spring Edition includes an insert for celebrating our Wave of Prayer, which occurs in April, and includes up to date information about our Link Dioceses.

Contributions are welcome from any members with a suggested maximum of 350 words. They should be sent electronically to our Editor: focus.editor@muoxford .org.uk or by post to the MU office by the deadline included in the previous edition. Good quality photographs are welcome and some are published in colour inside or outside the cover.

Ideas for Branch Meetings

Quiz about worldwide membership (2 ways)

Find all the countries on a map of the world where we have Mothers’ Union.

Identify all the countries where we have Mothers’ Union – and then place them on a map

The list of countries is found here.

Read the Newspapers

Take along several newspapers (it can be helpful if they were all printed on the same day but it is not essential) – and share out among those present. If you have time, you could ask everyone to bring one along to make life easy for yourself.

Ask members to look for one or more of the following:

  • Articles relevant to Mothers’ Union Aims and objectives
  • Social Policy Issues
  • Articles about Families
  • Some Good news stories

Share what you’ve found – and why each person found the article interesting. Sometimes people choose the same story – look how they are reported differently in each newspaper.

Bible verses about items that can be sold

Ask each member to bring a saleable item mentioned in the Bible, with the appropriate reference.

In turn, members show the item they have brought and read the Bible passage. Larger branches might need to divide into smaller groups to do this.

Sell all the items brought for a Mothers’ Union fund.

There are variations on this theme – you don’t need to bring along the item (a camel in your meeting place might be a bit problematical) – a picture might be more appropriate – and you don’t have to sell the items (although if you do manage to sell a camel we’d love to hear from you!).

16 Days of Activism against Gender based violence

Prayer globe

Provide a globe, either a 2D image – this could as large as you like, and could be handmade or a picture – or a blow up globe, and some post it notes.

Either: Write prayers on the post it notes for your link dioceses and stick them on the globe – for all they are doing to counter gender based violence, and for those in their communities who may have experienced or be experiencing gender-based violence.

Or: Do the same for the work of Mothers’ Union worldwide more generally in their advocacy on this issue and their work with survivors.

You could also have a discussion about how you can raise awareness of this issue in your locality and what you can do to support survivors.

Finding things in common

Let people get into pairs or threes. Ask them to find two or more things that they all have in common – maybe a birthday, your bra size, your middle name – it is not as easy as you think (but do not accept church or Mothers’ Union – too simple!). Try not to put good friends together!

Fairtrade quiz

See how many correct answers each person (or group) knows from this quiz

Write prayers

Put people into groups of two or three and ask them to write a prayer about different aspects of the churches year, or different needs of the world. You could produce a long list of starting points dependent upon the time you have available. Share – and then send them to our webmaster!

Share favourite Bible verses or hymns

This does need a little preparation: Ask people to bring along their favourite Bible verse or hymn and tell the others why they have chosen it.

What you don’t know about me…

Give everyone a slip of paper as they arrive and ask them to write a statement about themselves that they don’t think others will know, but that they are happy to share. This could be an interest or pastime, something they are good at, something they have done in the past, an unusual experience, etc. What is written on the slip should not be shared or discussed.

When everyone has given in their slip, write all the statements on a sheet of flip chart paper as a numbered list, making sure there are no clues to the originators identity.

Make sure everyone has a pen and paper, then ask them to note down the person they think wrote the statement. (You might want to take the opportunity for everyone to say their name, rather than assume that everyone knows each other!)

Go through the list on the flip chart asking people to ‘own’ their statement. Do allow some time for people to explain or expand on what they have written, if appropriate

What do other members appreciate about you?

(from Cleeve & Claverham branch, Bath & Wells)

Each person writes their name at the bottom of a sheet of paper. They then pass it to the next person, who looks at the name at the bottom and writes something positive about that person: a quality, something about that person they admire, a gift or talent. As in a game of Consequences, they then fold over the top of the paper, so that what they have written is hidden from the next person, but the person’s name is still visible at the bottom of the sheet That person then writes what they admire/appreciate.

When everyone has written on the sheet, it is then given to the person whose name appears at the bottom.

Action & Outreach Unit

Action & Outreach is concerned to support families and family life.  We encourage members to participate in fulfulling the aims of Mothers’ Union through a variety of practical ways.  These include the following:

  1. To continue the work of AFIA (Away From It All) holidays, by promoting awareness through churches, health visitors and schools and by fund raising so that people in need are able to take a holiday. (application form available here)
  2. To support the work of the JR hospital or other local hospitals by providing toiletries, baby quilts, premature baby knitting and Angel Pockets for still born babies. (Patterns available here)
  3. To provide facilitators to run “Loving for Life” (marriage) courses and parenting courses.
  4. To collect, check and deliver Christmas cards to Bullingdon prison.  This enables the Chaplain to give a card to every prisoner at Christmas time.
  5. To make Fiddle pinnies or knit Twiddle Muffs to give to local care homes who have residents with dementia or suffering from strokes. (Patterns available here)
  6. To support the Balsam Family Project in Didcot by providing equipment and refreshments as required.
  7. To continue to develop student work by providing access to our Starving Student Survival Guide and to assist chaplains at Freshers Fairs.
  8. To continue to make and develop contacts with our Link Dioceses and support them through letters or emails and our prayers.
  9. We take part in Social Policy activities and campaigns in order to apply our Gospel values to everyday situations.

Wave of Prayer & Midday Prayers

Each day a Wave of Prayer goes around the world as members pray at midday wherever they are for the work of Mothers’ Union and international issues. Remembering that it is midday somewhere in the world every hour of each day means that our voice of prayer is never silent.

This began in 1920 and has been happening ever since. The Wave of Prayer calendar includes every area worldwide where Mothers’ Union works. Every member receives a copy of this calendar in a twice yearly publication called Families Worldwide but it can also be found on line.

The days that Oxford diocese prays are 20th – 22nd April and information about our link dioceses can be found here.

We are also linked with Southwark diocese in the UK

Our members make a special effort to meet together during these three days in April to pray for our links. A special service is compiled each year and distributed to every member in the magazine Focus. A link to the most recent service can be found here


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12New International Version (NIV)

Creative idea, Jesus light of the world

Purchase a map of the world large enough to place tea lights onto it. Alternatively use a smaller A4 printed version available from: http://geology.com/world/world-map.gif which could be put into the middle of a table and the tea lights placed around it.

Please be careful with lit flames and have water or sand nearby just in case. Battery operated tea lights are now cheaply available in stores such as Wilko which could be used instead.

Take a moment in silence to consider the parts of the world where we would like Jesus as the Light of the World to bring peace. Then prayerfully let each person take a turn to place a candle onto the map. Remember our Link Dioceses, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Victoria Nyanza in Tanzania, Ahoada and Warri in Nigeria, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

Dear Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace,
We ask you to bless your troubled world, torn apart by war and conflict. Let us play our part by living peacefully with one another and do everything that we can to promote reconciliation and love. Amen

As we await the second coming of Christ our Lord and begin our plans to celebrate his birth at Christmas let us dwell on some of his names and titles that are found in the Bible.

You may like to spend time looking at:

Emmanuel: (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:23) – Literally “God with us.” Both Isaiah and Matthew affirm that the Christ who would be born in Bethlehem would be God Himself who came to earth in the form of a man to live among His people.

Light of the World: (John 8:12) – Jesus came into the world to shed the light of life and truth through His work and His words.

Prince of peace: (Isaiah 9:6) – Jesus came to bring peace between God and man who were separated by sin.

Son of God: (Luke 1:35; John 1:49) – Jesus is the “only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). Used 42 times in the New Testament, “Son of God” affirms the deity of Christ.

Way, Truth, Life: (John 14:6) – Jesus is the path to God, the source of truth and eternal life.


We think of our Link Dioceses, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Victoria Nyanza in Tanzania, Ahoada and Warri in Nigeria, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. Let us pray for the Mothers’ Union across the world and all the projects that its members undertake. Bringing literacy and enlightenment, prayer and support for families around the globe.

Dear God,
Make us ready to receive Jesus, your gift of love.
Ready to hear the good news,
ready to go and tell everyone else,
ready to do all we can to make a difference
and ready for everything that you’ve got planned for us. Amen

Living Lord,
Shine on us, to illuminate our path,
so that with each step we grow closer to you.
Shine on us, in every part of our lives,
and let your radiance fill us with joy and love.
Shine on us, so brightly that we become as one beam
that can reflect your light onto the other people we meet.
In the power of your name, Amen

Social Reform, Mission and Love

Ephesians 4:6 (NIV)

One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.


Mothers’ Union in Oxford Diocese makes giant handicraft chains to mark Anti-Slavery Day 2021

To mark Anti-Slavery Day (18th October 2021), the Mothers’ Union in the Oxford Diocese has spent the summer knitting and crocheting giant chains that symbolise the number of unseen victims of modern slavery across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The incredible chain will be unveiled next week at Reading Minster.

The Mothers’ Union, in collaboration with The Clewer Initiative (the Church of England’s response to modern slavery), was looking for a way to generate interest around Anti-Slavery Day and raise awareness of modern slavery in a COVID-secure way. It decided to make chain links to represent the estimated 4380 (1) victims of modern slavery in the Oxford Diocese and enlisted the support of its local Mothers’ Union branches to help reach the ambitious goal.

Caroline Virgo, director of The Clewer Initiative, comments: “The Clewer Initiative and Mothers’ Union are united in our goal to end modern slavery in the UK. The craft chain project is a simple way in which we are attempting to awaken local communities to the horror of slavery and challenge people to find out more about the issue. We are often told by frontline workers in statutory services that any way of getting the message about modern slavery to a general demographic is useful. We hope that each chain will result in many conversations about modern slavery and people resolving to take concrete action.”

Maureen Weston, Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union in the Oxford Diocese, explains: “Anti-Slavery Day provides a perfect opportunity to raise awareness. The handicraft project has been particularly well received because it is a way for people to get involved without having to gather in big numbers or attend events. The eye-catching chains have enabled us to raise awareness of the presence of mode Victims rn slavery to a much wider audience. They are a powerful symbol and we hope that the 1460 links will help people begin to grasp the true scale and horror of the issue in our communities.”

On Monday, 18th October, Anti-slavery Day, the chain will be unveiled at an exhibition at the Reading Minster Church by Maureen Weston, diocesan President of Mothers’ Union. The exhibition will then tour different churches across the Diocese during the following weeks.


For all media enquiries, contact Jenny Searle on 07785 938071

Notes to Editors

For more information about modern slavery, visit Mothers’ Union partner, The Clewer Initiative, https://theclewerinitiative.org/

For information on the partnership between the Mothers’ Union and The Clewer Initiative, visit https://www.mothersunion.org/projects/mothers-union-clewer-partnership

The Clewer Initiative

The Clewer Initiative was launched in 2016 as the Church of England’s response to modern slavery. The Clewer Initiative exists to mobilise the Church and communities to take action against modern slavery. We aim to share learning, signpost best practice amongst our partners and contribute to policymaking and more effective legislation.

The Clewer Initiative works in varying ways with the Church of England’s 42 dioceses as well as with other denominations, faith groups and community organisations. It shares learning and knowledge through its network and helps support community-based projects.

The Clewer Initiative is funded by the Clewer Sisters, an Anglican order of Augustinian nuns founded in 1852 to help marginalised, young women who found themselves homeless and drawn into the sex trade.

1 This figure is based on the Global Slavery Index which estimates there are 136,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK. The population of the UK is 66.65million. The population of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire is 2.14million. Calculated as a proportion and assuming the victims of slavery are evenly spread across the country, this would mean approximately 4380 victims in the Oxford Diocese.

Please Pray for DR Congo

There is to be a special Prayer Initiative for the Democratic Republic of Congo to which everyone is very warmly welcome. Mothers’ Union in Oxford diocese has a special link with Kinshasa diocese and previously we had links with Boga and Aru dioceses.

DR Congo faces huge challenges at the moment: Presidential and legislative elections are due to take place on 23rd December, delayed from 2016; there is an outbreak of Ebola virus in North Kivu/Ituri provinces; devastating militia attacks continue in Beni Territory (in North Kivu) and elsewhere; around 4.5 million people are displaced from their homes and poverty is widespread. In this context Christian churches are reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to provide extensive health and education services and seek to be agents for peace, reconciliation and transformation in their communities.

There will be 3 prayer meetings at St Andrew’s Church Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UG from 8 – 9pm on

  • 15th October
  • 19th November
  • 17th December.                  All are welcome.

Please pray for this country, especially those in our Linked Diocese of Kinshasa – Madame Gertrude, the Diocesan President has been assured of your prayers.

Please pass this prayer request to others in your churches and tell them of the prayer meetings.

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Verse of the Day

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” — Galatians 6:7-8 Listen to chapter . Powered by BibleGateway.com.