HISTORY OF MOTHERS’ UNION
The group currently do still meet, about once a month but in a look back, I will recollect, a little of their past …….
From their website it tells us that - Mothers' Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families worldwide. In 83 countries, our members share one heartfelt vision - to bring about a world where God's love is shown through loving, respectful and flourishing relationships. This is not a vague hope, but a goal we actively pursue this through our prayers, programmes, policy work and community relationships. By supporting marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity, we also tackle the most urgent needs challenging our relationships and communities.
Our members are not all mothers, or even all women. Single, married, parents, grandparents, or young adults just beginning to express their social conscience. For all 4 million members what Mothers' Union provides is a network through which they can serve Christ in their own community - through prayer, financial support and actively working at the grassroots level in programmes that meet local needs. We lobby local and national governments on issues affecting family life and campaign to challenge legislation that neglects the vulnerable and marginalised. We are also represented at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Over the years many people have been involved with this Group, and although numbers are a lot less now, it is a good gathering of ladies who attend this. Many speakers attend their meetings to talk to the members and in one held in October 2012 gave a talk about what the Harvest Message was about.
Looking back at my accounts file for them their treasurer in the late 1990’s was a good friend of my family, over the years others taking the role were various other people. The current leader who runs the group and writes articles about them for our monthly church magazine. In early 2013 a collection for the “Make a Mother’s Day” saw £103 sent to Mary Sumner House.
From donations during the 2012 harvest thanksgiving service, gifts received went to Beacon House and the Tendring Women’s Refuge.
Looking back at a local press article pictured young mums from the parish were pictured with their very young children. The worry was that Mothers Union groups generally were losing lots of members, and they were considering how to attract more to join their group.
Going back even farther a good neighbour of mine remembers that there was a long standing Mothers Union group which met in the cottage on the corner of Gosbeck Road (I assume this to be the building I refer to as the Egerton Green Institute). When the size of the group increased, things then moved down to be held at St Cedd’s church hall. All members tried to help all the parish needs, when something was greatly wanted. They were also on the flower rotas at both churches and helped out with the OAP lunch club which was held at the Shrub End Social Centre.
Barbara was the enrolling members for several years and she was privileged to do this work for six years, During that time we had a transfer of a member called Annie who was the great niece of the novelist Thomas Hardy. This was in about 1980. She remembered the 100 year old the pianist, who was the mother of the then Kingsford School headmistress.
During that time, the group were lucky enough to go to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, as my neighbour’s husban knew the Sacristan there, as they had been a member of the Colchester Garrison choir, and he had done a lot of driving around for them in his working days. His friend, with his wife and two children lived in the cloisters at the castle.
At that time the Queens chaplain’s wife was the head of the worldwide Mothers Union and we met in two parties of 25 for a special talk and then went to 4pm Evensong in the chapel, sitting where the knights etc sat near the high altar. Our Branch and Church were mentioned in the prayers. Edd’s friends served tea to the two parties as well. The neighbouring couple, both in their 90’s, have kept up their friendship with the family, although, they live in Boston in Lincolnshire now.