Chaplain’s Reflection

Deborah Chapman (2)

May 2017

Prayer for the Mothers’ Union in the Diocese in Europe
”I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24.49)

During the annual ICS (Inter-Continental Church Society) Conference held last week near Interlaken, Switzerland, I had the great pleasure of being able to speak at length with the MU treasurer for the Diocese in Europe – like me, a relative newcomer to the MU in this diocese!

So this month I would like to use this monthly reflection to ask you to pray!
We are told that the Diocese in Europe covers about 1/7 of the world’s land mass, and is represented in 43 political entities. What a huge privilege…and what an awesome responsibility! Many countries have Anglican chaplaincies that include a large number of Africans and a growing number of Indians, who come from countries where the Mothers’ Union is huge. To quote from the Church Times article by Bill Bowder posted on 2 November 2006:
India swells Mothers’ Union membership
The Mothers’ Union has trebled its numbers in the space of two years, from 1.1 million to 3.5 million. The figures were due to be presented at the MU’s general meeting on the Isle of Man yesterday.

The increase is almost entirely accounted for by the arrival of the 1.9 million members of the Church of North India’s Women’s Fellowship for Christian Service and the Women’s Fellowship in the Church of South India, who joined the MU last year.

The first international audit, completed this year, shows that the MU’s traditional power base in Africa still holds strong. Rounding the figures, the audit shows that Tanzania has 680,000 members, Zimbabwe 15,250, South Africa 55,000, Kenya 500,000, Malawi 12,850, Burundi 7200, Zambia 6100, and Madagascar 4300.
PRAY that the MU in Europe will know how to work with fellow Christians from these countries and more, to contribute to a growing and vibrant MU in the Diocese in Europe.
PRAY for yourself and the members of your MU group, that you will have a clear sense of what God is calling you to be and to do – that God will give you both a definite sense of direction and a loving and joyful desire to see it through.
PRAY for those who have been given positions of responsibility in MU in the Diocese in Europe – that we will:
know how best to communicate with each other and with you
be able to develop a strategy that unites and strengthens all the groups throughout the Diocese in Europe by listening to God and to you, in order to have a sense of what God is already doing through you and to continue to grow and develop a Christ-honouring and people encouraging Mothers’ Union in Europe!

And above all, PRAY that everything will be done in God’s time and in God’s way – including waiting for God to ‘clothe us with power from on high’ before we jump into any project or activity.

Thank you and God bless you!!


earlier posts.





  • About Myself

    The Rev Dr Deborah Chapman

    Born in a small town in Massachusetts, the first of 5 children, my parents took me to Argentina when I was a year old. This is how I grew up bilingual, with Spanish as my first spoken language. I feel very much ‘at home’ with the grand mix that is the Mothers’ Union throughout the world. ‘Home’ is not a feeling that is usual with me, having lived in five different countries in Latin America, as well as various places in the U.S., U.K., Spain, France, Papua New Guinea and most recently, in Sharjah (UAE). I am now a cleric with Permission to Officiate in the Archdeaconry of Gibraltar, accompanying my husband John who is the Chaplain at St George’s Barcelona.

    John, from Scotland, and I met in 1977, at the London Bible College, after I had moved to London in 1976 to study linguistics and then theology, having been accepted as a Bible translator with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We married in 1980, and thereafter worked together in Christian mission with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (1979-1991), and Latin Link (1991-2002) before both of us became ordained Anglican Deacons then Priests. I have been a Mothers’ Union member since serving my curacy at St Mellitus Hanwell (2005-2008), and served as the Mothers’ Union Chaplain for the Willesden Area of the London Diocese for just one year (2012-2013) before John accepted the calling to be Chaplain of St Martin’s Sharjah, UAE. There was no Mothers’ Union there, but I was very involved with the Women’s Fellowship, and through them with the Vacation Bible School for the children. It is a great joy to be invited to serve as Chaplain for the Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Europe!

    I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour one night when staying in a hotel in Copacabana, on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia – my apologies if you need an atlas to work out where that is! I was 16 at the time. Nothing has brought me more satisfaction in life than allowing my Lord to guide me into that fullness of life that He promises in John 10.10. My husband John and our two married children and their spouses - Matthew (and Belinda) and Kirstin (and Elliot) are a huge part of the full life He has given me, as is the pleasure of serving Him as an ordained minister. I also enjoy walking, swimming, reading, writing, painting, cooking and being an occasional academic.