A New Season Message from our DP!

Mary Sumner

4th September 2023

Dear Fellow Members
I started my summer letter on the number of days on which we had no rain. Throughout the months of July and August we have scarcely had a day without rain. I hope that, despite the weather, you have had a restful summer and are ready to start the new season refreshed and invigorated. We are just about to go on holiday, and I am assured that in France the rain is definitely warmer!

In our prayer diary for the month of August we have been giving thanks for God’s love, using various parts of our Mothers’ Union Prayer. Our members work at grassroots level around the world, bringing hope and practical support to millions of people every year through parenting, literacy and community development programmes. We have campaigned at local, national and international levels to bring about real change in family life, to promote women’s and girls’ rights and to ensure the protection of children. As our Worldwide President, Sheran Harper, has said: “MU members can help to bring about positive change in the hardest to reach communities, like no other organisation can.”

On 9 August we gave thanks for our founder, Mary Sumner. Mary was born Mary Elizabeth Heywood, and married her husband George Sumner in July 1848, at the age of 19. George was appointed Rector of Old Arlesford in 1851. In the Parish Mary took a great interest in women and their families. At this time there was great wealth, but also great poverty. Mary wanted these women to experience the happy family life that she enjoyed. In 1876 she started a meeting for mothers in the Parish, which became the first Mothers’ Union meeting ever. You can read more about Mary Sumner on the Connor website.

In the diocese we have produced a new leaflet, which you should be receiving shortly. In this leaflet you will read how your membership of MU is making a difference, reaching out as God’s hands across the world. You will read how we are having an impact worldwide by helping widows in DR Congo and how, thanks to MU, 144,000 people have become literate in Burundi. We are also making a difference locally through our AFIA holiday scheme and the many projects in which you continue to be involved. In this way, as a Christian charity, we continue to promote the work which Mary Sumner started almost 150 years ago.

Let me close with Mary Sumner’s personal prayer:

“All this day, O Lord, let me touch as many lives as possible for thee; and every life I touch do thou by thy spirit quicken, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I breathe, or the life I live. Amen.”

With my love,

Sally x

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