A year of campaigning and sharing faith at Norwich MU
As the 140th anniversary celebrations of Mother’s Union draws to a close, the Norfolk branch reflects on their activities in 2016, which include campaigning, fundraising and social action.
Members of the Mothers’ Union throughout the world have celebrated the 140th anniversary in many different ways. In Norfolk, services of thanksgiving, garden parties and other events have all played their part in thanking God for the years of service they have been able to give.
Norwich Diocesan president Marguerite Phillips said, “It has been a year of raising awareness, of reaching out and of sharing the faith. Long may our work continue.”
The Cycle Challenge raised £5,600 to enable disadvantaged young people to spend time at the Horstead Centre enjoying its facilities, surrounded by the peace and love of Christ. Marguerite said, “As always, our members rose to the challenge and found innovative ways of joining in the challenge despite some being unable to cycle.”
Mothers’ Union joined the We Say No to Gender Violence campaign and is calling on the government to redress the injustice in the new child maintenance system for victims of domestic abuse. Members marched to Downing Street to deliver the petition signed by over 3000 MU members drawing the government’s attention to this unfair payment and requesting that that victims be exempt from the 'collect and pay' charges for using the statutory Child Maintenance Service, as they may have no other option to receive or make payments for their children without further risk of abuse or violence.
Local MU members joined the vigil outside the Forum in Norwich on November 25 when various women's organisations stood in solidarity with all women who suffer from any form of gender based violence. They were joined by a fire-crew - men showing their support for their female colleagues. Speeches by a female police chief, a council representative and a Norwich MP were followed by a candlelit two-minute silence. Marguerite said, “We struggled to keep our candles alight in the cold wind but it was good to be there, representing all Mothers' Union members in the Diocese.”
As Christmas approached, MU volunteers packed 112 presents for Angel Tree on behalf of prisoners at Wayland Prison. Angel Tree supports prisoners in their family relationships by providing a way for them to give Christmas presents to their children.
Looking to 2017, the Mothers’ Union will be involved with assisting the five Syrian families (the first tranche of 50 refugees coming to the city) who will arrive late January or early February with supplying homewares and helping get the accommodation ready.
If you would like to get involved in Mothers’ Union, visit http://muenterprises.org/norwichmu/
Pictured: The Angel Tree team wrap up gifts, Mary Dorrell of the WI takes a turn on the exercise bike at Celebrate with Marie-Lyse and Marguerite