Community work from Norfolk Mothers' Union
Across Norfolk many of the 1,000 Mothers’ Union members help provide vital community services including parent and toddler groups, community cafes, relationship courses and family holidays. Project Development Worker, Barbara Bryant, reports.
Mothers' Union is a Christian organisation with more than 3.6 million members worldwide. The backbone of Mothers’ Union is its worldwide network of volunteers, with their commitment to marriage and family.
Volunteers give their time to generously help others, whether by running local projects, supporting international campaigns, or fundraising to sustain family life through projects at home and abroad.
Across Norfolk there are over 1,000 members of Mothers’ Union, many of whom volunteer in their parishes and beyond. “Pram services” and parent and toddler groups operate from King's Lynn to Pakefield. All offer a warm welcome to young children and their carers – a place to have fun and relax over a cuppa and biscuits, and with a Christian ethos.
The Cameo Cafe, run by Edgefield Mothers’ Union branch is open twice a month to welcome those who may be feeling a little alone or isolated and bring some company and support with tea and cakes. It’s open to anyone in the village and is right opposite the local school – so a great place for parents to meet up when collecting their children.
A new project is “Loving for Life” – a relationship course offered alongside the existing support provided by clergy to couples preparing for their wedding. Mothers’ Union members have been trained as facilitators to run this course and it is hoped to work alongside clergy in the new Church of England Weddings Project across the Diocese.
Members also hold many fundraising events to support Mothers’ Union development work with families overseas and to provide “Away From It All” holidays for disadvantaged families in the UK. Last year members in the Norwich Diocese enabled 31 local families to enjoy a holiday they would not otherwise have had, at the Hemsby Beach Holiday Centre. Alongside this is a vibrant prayer and worship calendar of events and social policy campaigning at a national and international level.
“Mothers’ Union is one of the most vibrant international bodies in the Anglican Communion,” says Bishop Graham. “It’s a valued critic of Government policies on marriage and family life. And its support for home and family isn’t theoretical. Local branches worldwide give it credibility. I’d love to see more branches in our parishes.”
If you would like get involved with Mothers’ Union, and maybe find out how to set up a branch in your parish, contact the Mothers’ Union office on 01603 882003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org