Home » News (Page 2)
Category Archives: News
On 18th February, I took part a in Mary Sumner House virtual training session, Preparing for future meetings; the first of four led by Marion Pope. Participants were from across the UK and were encouraged to pass on the discussion points. In groups of eight we had a short session to introduce ourselves then had two longer sessions for discussion.
Preparing for future meetings: These are the main points from the four discussion groups.
What are the challenges you see?
Managing the future when there are unknowns, risk assessments. Government restrictions – sanitize space, maximum number allowed together, social distancing, masks/face covering. The confidence of members after such a long time in lockdown; members may still be shielding; should the branch hold a mixture of day/evening meetings? How will the branch organise transporting members who need a lift?
How do we encourage our MU members to engage fully in 2021?
Continue to communicate with all members: telephone chains, printed information, email, virtual/zoom meetings. Arrange several meetings with smaller numbers; organise a local prayer walk or a walk to socialise which could be sponsored to raise funds for an MU charity. Put MU branch information into the parish magazine/ pew leaflet to inform the members and wider community. Suggest members bring their own drink/snack.
What might future meetings look like?
Meet in church instead of a smaller meeting room. Thanksgiving service; meet in an outside venue e.g. a sports club golf, cricket, large garden, for a catch up with social distancing; continue zoom meetings if there is a demand; consult with members and act upon suggestions from your members.
When restrictions are eased, invite MU members who have no access to virtual/ zoom sessions to take part in one with the guidance of another experienced member.
If any Oxford Diocese MU members would like to take part in a similar discussion, I will arrange a virtual session. Best wishes to you all planning for your future meetings.
Valerie Bolan Trustee AVP for West Berkshire
We have just begun the final year of our Triennial and are beginning to plan ahead to form a new Trustee Board for 2022/24. Initially we must find a new President as our current Diocesan President, Maureen, will be retiring at the end of this year. We are looking for someone who can help build on the strong foundations which have been laid; a person who can energize the body of the Mothers’ Union in this Diocese.
Please prayerfully consider whether you yourself could offer to take on this responsibility or whether someone in your branch or a Diocesan member known to you would be ideally suited.
Generally, a President serves for 3 years and there is the possibility of standing for re-election for a second term if they wish.
If you would like to suggest a name(s) for this post please complete a nomination form, or write a letter containing the information required, and send it by post or email to:
Revd Louise Butler, Unit Co-ordinator for Finance and Administration
Postal address: MU office, CMS House, Watlington Road, Oxford, OX4 6BZ
If you wish to understand more about this position, please contact Louise in the first instance and she will forward your query.
Closing date for nominations is 30 April 2021.
The nomination form can be found below
I hope some of you will be able to help by knitting Easter Chicks for the children supported by Children Heard and Seen. Free knitting patterns are available online and the chicks are really simple to knit. It is extremely important to use specific toy stuffing for the head in spite of any other instructions in the pattern.
Each one only takes a couple of hours to complete, including sewing up and doing the eyes and beak. We need 200 chicks in all so please let me know how many you are making. I need to receive them by Monday 8th March, please.
…and you’ll see that each chick contains a cream egg. We’ll also print a label saying the chick is a gift from Mothers’ Union and is not a toy, then put the whole lot in a sealed plastic bag.
Here are a couple of chicks I’ve knitted for you to see. Please contact me on email@example.com and I’ll let you know my address to send the chicks. If anyone would like to contribute to the cost of the eggs then please send a cheque or a bank transfer to Eve or Geoff for the Projects Account.
Thanks for your help.
Action and Outreach
Children Heard and Seen were so grateful to receive the generous donation of 200 advent calendars from the Mothers Union. The families were delighted to receive their calendars at one of our Campfire socials that we were able to hold briefly at the beginning of December 2020. At the time, the calendars gave children something to look forward to and a sense of hope after what had been a very difficult year for us all. We’d like to thank the Mother’s Union for their continued support and generosity.
The theme for 2021 continues with the 2020 theme “Building Hope and Confidence”. The resources for 2020 can be used and more items will be added though the year. Click on the links below to go to the main Mothers’ Union website pages.
Both Mothers’ Union and the Clewer Initiative believe that the tools to end modern day slavery already exist within our local communities. We envision that the Church, which is present and at the heart of communities, has a primary responsibility in leading this effort.
The Clewer Iniative is a project that enables the Church of England and its wider networks to develop strategies to detect modern day slavery in their communities and help provide victim support and care. This involves working with the Church locally to identify resources already available to be utilised, developing partnerships with others and thus creating a wider network of advocates seeking to end modern slavery. On a more national level the initiative is developing a network of practitioners who are committed to sharing models of best practice and providing evidence-based data to resource the Church’s national engagement with Government, statutory and non-statutory bodies.
The initiative is funded by the Clewer Sisters, an Anglican order of Augustinian nuns founded in 1852 to help marginalised, mainly females, who found themselves homeless and drawn into the sex trade by providing them with shelter and teaching them a trade.
The work of the Clewer Sisters mirrors the work that our members are doing in thousands of communities around the world and this had led to our natural partnership to end modern slavery. We also both value the importance of building the resilience of those most at risk. We shall be working in equal partnership to set up a body of work to address and raise awareness of the subject.
The key focus of our work together will be
- Identifying and setting up training opportunities, materials and manuals for volunteers, staff and members. We also want to create presentations, posters and video clips to help raise awareness
- Producing a credit card sized card to help communities identify and respond safely to potential cases of modern slavery
- Collaboration of key contacts at national and local level to develop and get involved in local initiatives to identify and prevent modern day slavery as appropriate
- Create national and local advocacy campaigns that members and others can get involved in to raise awareness of the subject including involvement in Anti-slavery Day and the safer car app (for the Safe Car Wash app click here)
- Establish a prayer network that regularly focuses on this initiative
To find out more about the Clewer Initiative click here
This video gives an overview of the Clewer Initiative…