Norwich Cathedral MU banners go virtual
The Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Norwich has decided to move its annual Festival Service from Norwich Cathedral this autumn into its members’ homes, because current restrictions mean that the usual cathedral service is not feasible.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many long-anticipated events to be postponed or even cancelled and, as an organisation with a large number of older members, the Mothers Union sees this as the best solution. Resources are being prepared so that members can join in with a time of worship in their own homes or as small groups; an ‘at-home festival service’.
A big part of the annual service is the procession of branch banners through the nave of Norwich Cathedral. It’s always a spectacular sight as the brightly coloured and intricately embroidered masterpieces are held high for all to see. But with no cathedral service this year, the trustees came up with the idea of bringing the banners together in a virtual way.
Diocesan Chaplain, the Revd Andrew Whitehead, said “It occurred to the trustees that we should really have a digital archive of all the amazing Mothers’ Union banners in our churches, and bringing them together for our ‘at-home’ festival service seemed like a brilliant opportunity. We’re asking people to send in pictures of their banners so we can assemble a visual montage which we’ll circulate with the worship resources for our ‘at-home’ festival service.”
The trustees are asking all Mothers’ Union branches to take a couple of photos of their precious banners, and send them, by September 16 at the latest, to the Mothers’ Union office at firstname.lastname@example.org . For churches where there is no longer a branch, they would love to receive pictures of the banners that still hang there, from local parishioners and residents.
The photos will be used in a montage which will be included in the pack of resources which members will receive in the run-up to the special day. The montage will also form part of a new digital archive on the Diocesan Mothers’ Union website.
Diocesan President, Val Ovenden, said, "What a wonderful opportunity has been provided for all our members to join together in this 'at-home' service. Let us thank God that we can as always celebrate our festival!”
The photograph of the 2019 Festival Service is courtesy of Barbara Lashley.