MU MATTERS SPRING 2017

Dear friends and fellow members,

This time last year I was feeling very new and somewhat overwhelmed by what all being DP could throw at me.  I think I can now say that I know what I’m supposed to be doing – and thoroughly enjoying it!  So now we are all looking at this year’s challenge – ‘Faith in Action’ – and hopefully rising to it! Bishop Robert has set all of us the task of ‘Growing in Prayer, Making New Disciples and Serving the People of Devon with Joy’.  Isn’t that exactly what we, as Mothers’ Union members, are doing?

I wrote, in my previous letter, about the challenges that we have been set by Lynne Tembey, our Worldwide President. You may remember that we have decided to tackle Rural Isolation, Poverty and Social Injustice, and the ways in which these affect family life here in Devon. We are also looking at how we can increase our membership. Contacts have been with various organisations which share our aims and objectives, and things are moving forward. So now is the time for you to get involved as well – in your branches and churches – and hopefully the information at Council will enable you to do so, and so put your faith in action.

We are also hoping to produce a publication to help leaders to run their branch or deanery, with all the information needed.  This will, hopefully, encourage new leaders and possibly new branches, and also answer all those questions that folk need to know, about how and when and what.  And, as we become better equipped, informed and more confident, we will be able enthuse those we meet and so that they will want to join us!

In the coming months, I hope to meet more of you, and to be invited to come and share a cuppa (and cake), to learn more about you and to share ideas and experiences.  Please continue to pray for all that we are hoping to achieve in the name of Mothers’ Union, and for me, as I tackle the challenges that the Lord is asking of me.

May He bless us all and give us strength to put our ‘Faith in Action’ in His name.

With my love and prayers

Nickie

Lady Day Service

We were delighted to be able to hold the Lady Day Service in Exeter Cathedral this year. The service brought together 129 members from all over the Diocese. Janet Jones, Totnes Archdeaconry President, organised a coach from Buckfastleigh so that branches in our Deanery could travel up together and enjoy the service, and have a day in Exeter.

The service was held in the Quire and presided over by the Bishop of Crediton, Dame Sarah Mullally.

Nickie Johnson, our Diocesan President welcomed us and gave a very thoughtful introduction by reading to us a challenging prayer by Michel Quoist which set the theme for the service: ‘Help me to say yes’.

Bishop Sarah based her sermon on Mary’s response to God and how deeply troubled, disturbed and perplexed she was about conceiving the Son of God and yet said ‘yes’. Many of us have or will be asked to perform tasks which we think we are incapable of doing, but with God’s help we shall fulfil his plans.

Thank you to all involved in providing us with a most enjoyable service.

At the Lady Day service 2017

 

 

 

Bridget Vinton

 

Editor’s note:

The collection raised over £300; half of which was given to the Cathedral, and half to AFIA.

 

Hat•tê•bāh

One of our Diocesan priorities over the next three years is the plight of refugees.

Mothers’ Union members have recognised that there is a real and urgent need to ensure that the most vulnerable children seeking refuge in the UK are supported to integrate into our communities. In a partnership programme called Hat•tê•ḇāh, we have come together in partnership with two other charities – The Children’s Society and Home for Good – in order to encourage churches to support young refugees in the UK. Our joint response draws on our strength and expertise from all areas, through our work and supporters rooted in communities allowing us to understand some of the unique issues faced by refugee children.

Together we recognise that there us an overwhelming desire to help refugee children throughout the Church of England and that communities are looking for support and guidance on how to do this best. Through the Hat•tê•ḇāh initiative our aim is to encourage and equip communities to welcome and support refugee children through prayer, raising awareness, fundraising, direct support, volunteering and foster care.

The first edition of Hat•tê•ḇāh: Young Refugee Awareness Raising Training took place in the Diocese of Canterbury. The training was targeted at people who come across young refugees in their work or who may be influencers of others including church professionals and professionals within church communities. The training is designed to equip communities to understand and respond to the issues faced by young refugees and was focussed specifically on the regional needs – in Canterbury’s case, this was on how to best support unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the UK. Through interactive sessions including quizzes and case study analysis, the facilitators shared key information on refugees and systems surrounding them. Group discussions amongst the professionals was very much encouraged in order to share information and stimulate learning.

The first training day was able to target a good cross-section of the community, reaching churches and those with a professional background. Attendees demonstrated a significant increase in their understanding of issues facing young refugees and an improvement in the attendees’ ability and commitment to be inclusive of young refugees.

With such a positive response, we will be adapting the Hat•tê•ḇāh training and rolling out the initiative to other parts of the UK throughout 2017.

 

The Hebrew phrase hat•tê•ḇāh is used in two contexts in the Old Testament, once to describe Noah’s ark, and once for the basket used by Miriam to keep Moses safe in the River Nile. This serves as an appropriate illustration for the training that will be given by frontline workers from The Children’s Society’s refugee and migrant services. It will equip participants to understand and respond to the issues faced by refugee children and improve understanding of their rights and safeguarding needs.

 

NEWS FROM THE ARCHDEACONRIES

EXETER

St. Mark’s Evening Group, part of Christianity Branch, Exeter

Last year was the year that saw this group emerge and by the end of the year we had 12 members many of whom actually have small children! Twelve children in all, under 16. That and the fact that many of our group work during the day means we have decided to meet about once a month on a Friday evening.

We correspond mainly through e-mail, which means we can be quite spontaneous and we do not have an organised programme. Last month, eight of the members went to the Mission Escape rooms at the bottom of Fore Street to complete an ‘escape and save the world’ event. We had one hour to complete the mission and only just did it in 55 minutes! Great fun.

This month we are holding a ‘Whodunnit’ game in the church with a bring-and-share dinner.

We do look at more serious matters from time to time and have had a display about the various projects that the Mothers’ Union supports, and this has led to another three ladies wanting to join who between them have another seven children. Surely this group is changing the demography of the Mothers’ Union in this area.

God Bless, Sarah Turner

 

News from Honiton Deanery

About 30 members attended St Andrew’s Church Colyton on Monday 27th March for Honiton Deanery Lady Day Service. The service was led by Revd Ann Futcher and members from each Branch and Diocesan members took part. A flower on the altar represents each of the five branches. Afterwards members gathered in the School House for a Bring-and-Share lunch which we all enjoyed. Thanks to Colyton Branch for organising the event and sending £73 to MUDLP.

Honiton Branch is celebrating 125 years this year and this was the theme of their Coffee Morning. A large 125 was drawn on paper and displayed on the forecourt and passers-by were encouraged to part with £1, 20p and 5p coins to cover the shapes. With sales of cakes and bric-a-brac, the branch were able to send money to AFIA and Overseas projects.

Julia Beaman

 

TOTNES & TORBAY

I would like to start by thanking all the branch leaders and committee for continuing to run the branches and to set up programmes and fund-raise for the Mothers’ Union. It is not easy to find speakers and plan fund raising events.

Getting together as Deaneries to celebrate is difficult, as transport is expensive. Last December, we gathered together for our Carol service, which was held in Buckfastleigh on the first Friday in December. As I looked around at all of us assembled in the lounge at St. Luke’s church after the service, it gave me a warm feeling, as we were enjoying each other’s company. A big thanks to Revd Marisa Cockfield for taking the service and giving a very uplifting talk.

In December 2017, our Carol Service will be at Stoke Gabriel church on the 7th December at 2.30pm, when the speaker will be Revd Gill Still.

Our new Chairperson, who took over at our March meeting, is Ruth Collop from the Paignton Branch, and our secretary is Bridget Vinton from the Buckfastleigh branch. Our treasurer remains the same – Elaine Day, also from Buckfastleigh.

Rowena Crawley, an MU member who lives at Church Park, Diptford, TQ9 7NY, will be part of the Open Garden scheme on the 25th May from 2.30pm-5.30pm, raising funds for AFIA.

We will be organising a fundraising event at St. Mary’s Totnes during the week of Mary Sumner day – actual date to follow – with our usual refreshments and stalls, and hoping this year for fine weather.

We will also be organising a quiet day in the Deanery around the middle of September. I will email all branches when the date is confirmed – the venue will be the Methodist Chapel at Buckfast Abbey.

Please let me know if any of your members are longstanding. If so, it would be lovely to present them with a long service card at a special meeting.

Take care, Janet Jones

 

PLYMOUTH ARCHDEACONRY JOINT DEANERIES

Members and Friends

It was a joy and a privilege to be present at a morning, mid-week Corporate Holy Communion service in beautiful Wembury Church beside the sea. At this service three new members were enrolled. There was a good turn-out of members and friends including some ladies from Bristol. These were fellow Mothers’ Union members who happened to be on holiday in the area. They had attended church on the Sunday, heard about the mid-week service and came along. Following this, I was present when one of our organists at Plympton St Mary was enrolled, and I know that the Minster church of St Andrew has enrolled another member of the clergy in recent days. It’s always encouraging to hear of new members coming along.

It was Plymouth’s turn to take Cathedral prayers in February. Unfortunately, a number of our members who had hoped to be present were unable to at the last minute. With just a few of us, how would the singing go, we wondered? Help came in the form of Jennifer from South Wales, who happened to be visiting her mother in Devon at the time. With her beautiful singing voice and a Welsh tune all went well.

Being a Diocesan Reader, I attended our annual conference for the Diocese in February. It was super to have a Mothers’ Union display board in the meeting hall during the week-end. Well done John Vinton, and for wearing your badge throughout all proceedings!

Many individual Mothers’ Union members, in Plymouth, keep busy in various ways. They are there helping at mother and toddler groups, bereavement groups and coffee mornings. Provision for refugees, knitted garments and blankets for premature babies and many other useful activities occupy many.

The most useful activity is prayer. The Diocesan members in Greater Plymstock meet once a month to pray for the needs of the parish and church. Also, we are so grateful for the Mothers’ Union prayer chain which Marigold keeps going. A number of our members have been seriously ill and it is so good to have such a good band of members and friends who support one another.

Margaret R Provost

NEWS FROM THE UNITS

ACTION AND OUTREACH

For many of you, the way you show others what the Mothers’ Union is doing is by your craft projects. As always, Margaret Beech has been busy keeping up with existing CRAFTS like knitted hats, gloves, balaclavas and blankets for the homeless and Syrian refugees; she also has found new outlets for smaller

more Baby hats and mittens..carry on knitting!

, brightly-coloured twiddle muffs in schools where they are appreciated by special needs children. She continues to make heart cushions for mastectomy patients which are much appreciated and has made crosses in your pocket for all our Indoor members. If you would like to make any of these things or have other ideas, do contact her.

Dora has been busy with others from across the diocese organising the short break holidays we offer through AFIA. 17 holidays have been offered this year, somewhat down on the numbers for last year. We still need someone to coordinate the Plymouth area. If you know anyone who could do this, PLEASE let Dora know, her contact details are in the handbook. She also said that although health centres are always very  keen to take up the holidays, they are often too busy to follow through, it might be a good idea to contact primary schools another year (it’s too late for this year) as they would have knowledge of families in need.

Helen visited her sister in Kenya this spring and had intended to visit our LINK DIOCESE in North Mbale in Uganda while there. See her report on the visit, which follows this article – unfortunately it did not go entirely according to plan! Helen is now working hard on her contacts with the other link dioceses.

I now have enough pairs of books for Dartmoor Prison to make another visit worthwhile to continue the BIG BOOK SHARE. This time Helen is hoping to come with me, and we hope to see a little more of the Visitors’ Centre there, where our books are available for visiting children to borrow to help keep contact with their fathers ‘inside’. Tracey Yeo, our contact there, says the scheme is a real help.

Thank you so much, all members, for all you do to help MU Action and Outreach to work. We always need your prayers for the various projects we do to be helpful and to make a real impact on the lives of those who receive them.

Rosemary Tull, A&O Coordinato

 

OVERSEAS LINKS

The best laid plans can so easily be knocked off course! The plan was to travel to North Mbale in Uganda, one of our Diocesan links, to visit the Mothers’ Union members there. Once at my sister’s in Kenya, I developed altitude sickness as they live at 7,000 feet. So with the dates all fixed, my husband Tony went on his own through the border and to North Mbale. I was extremely disappointed, but Tony did a wonderful job.

He met with Reverend Alfred Wonyaka, the link man for the Diocese and also Agnes Wodada the Mothers’ Union Diocesan President and the other members of the Mothers’ Union. Tony was able to give her the gifts from your generous donations at last year’s Council. Mothers’ Union badges, pens, some pencils and exercise books for the children, and $80 to help to complete their own headquarters which needs a roof.

Agnes and the Mothers’ Union are involved with the community self-help scheme Rural BIRD, Bulambuli Initiative for sustainable Rural Development, which is bringing great benefits           to woman, children and families. The community has developed a self-supporting scheme ‘Let there be Light’ whereby a family can have a solar panel fitted to their hut with 4 led lights. The benefits are immense, bringing light in the evenings, but also stopping the health problems caused by paraffin or charcoal in an enclosed space. The money they would have spent on charcoal or paraffin is then paid into a savings scheme for new lights when they run out and to pay for a new family to receive a solar panel. So far 350 families have benefitted from this self-supporting scheme. Now the community is building a school!

My husband has become involved in this project, as he is so impressed with this community’s resourcefulness and vision for their future despite the poverty and problems that they face. Like many areas, they are dealing with the result of AIDS, with orphans and grandparents left to cope, as well as young single Mums, lack of education and health facilities, to name just a few.

 

Below is a letter received from Agnes Wodada, North Mbale MU President:

 

Dear Helen

Greetings from Mothers’ Union of North Mbale Diocese. It’s so unfortunate that we were unable to meet you but we also thank God that your husband was able to reach us. We wish to pledge that as a Mothers’ Union, we are delighted to have your and other Mothers’ Union as close and dear friends. We will always keep you in our prayers. As you may have already been aware, we will continue to remain in contact with you, through our Diocesan link office, and will also share our activities with you, as we keep in contact. We bless you with our hearts and minds in prayers.

With all the Mothers’ Union in North Mbale we say, God Bless each one of you.

Yours in Christ, Agnes Wodada

So we give thanks for the firm contacts and friends of North Mbale. They are special people, totally committed to serving God by Faith in Action, and we pray for them all as we celebrate such a positive and inspirational Diocesan link.

Helen Fensome, Overseas Links

FAITH & POLICY

How quickly the time has gone! As I write this, the days really are much longer and everything in the garden is growing – a little too well in some cases. Spring is definitely well and truly here, and hopefully a lovely summer to follow.

Looking back over the past year I would like to thank everybody for the help and support they have given to me and to the Faith and Policy Unit.

 

16 Days of Activism Ending Gender-Based Violence

Following the success of the Vigil in Bideford, in December last year (many thanks to everyone at St Mary’s Church, Bideford, for their help and support) and the ‘Global Moment’ in Exeter Cathedral on 25th November, Mothers’ Union in this Diocese is planning to hold an event in South Devon, as our contribution to the 16 Days of Activism. (See John Vinton’s Social Policy Report).

Lady Day

It was wonderful to welcome so many members and non-members to the lovely service led by Bishop Sarah, a really glorious event, and thank you to everyone who helped to make it such a memorable occasion.

 Cathedral Prayers

Well done to all those who continue to support the Deaneries as they take their turn leading Cathedral Prayers.  Please check to make sure when it is your Deanery’s turn, as there are now fewer Deaneries  Anne Hawken cannot promise everyone their own regular month each year.

Labelled for Life

The booklet ‘Labelled for Life’ and other MU literature have been reissued and updated – they are bright, modern and eye-catching.

IMPC

Mary Steer reports that she has 5 new IMPC members, but unfortunately others have moved away leaving no forwarding address.  The ‘Crosses in Pockets’ which Mary sent to Indoor Members were highly valued, therefore, well worth the money spent on postage.  Several members keep in contact with Mary phoning her to chat.

Prayer Network

Marigold Seager-Berry continues to grow this ministry, with more people volunteering to be praying partners, I know this is valued and much appreciated by many of you.

I wish you all an enjoyable summer.  God bless,

Janet Miller, Faith and Policy Co-ordinator

 

Social Policy

Highlights for Mothers’ Union in the past 6 months have been the Prayer Vigil and the Global Moment, both during our 2016 campaign ‘Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence’. The Prayer Vigil at St. Mary’s Church Bideford on Thursday 1st December was very successful and was supported by North Devon Against Domestic Abuse (NDADA); Julie and Wendy gave valuable help with their presence, talking to people and with supporting literature. The Global Moment took place in Exeter Cathedral on Friday 25th November, a date and time observed by MU members and others all round the world at local time. A candle was lit to symbolise ‘shining a light on gender violence’, special prayers were said and the short service was led by Eileen MacCaig.

As part of our ‘Sixteen Days of Activism’ Campaign in 2017 we will be holding a ‘Silent Protest’ in front of St. Mary’s Church High Street Totnes, on Saturday 25th November (the first of the sixteen days) from around 10.00am till 1.00 or 2.00pm. Simple refreshments will be served inside the church. The church has been provisionally booked and we await their formal confirmation.

MU attended the strategy focus meeting for the South West Anti-Slavery Forum at Exeter Police Headquarters on Thursday 13th April 2017. John Vinton has a talk on this subject, which he has given to one branch and which is available for other bookings!

Refugee Week will be 19th-25th June this year. We will explore any possibilities for MU at this and members are encouraged to take part in local campaigning activities. We will give guidance and suitable suggestions. Please see Refugee Week website: http:// refugeeweek.org.uk. We will also be talking to members about MU involvement with the refugee centres in Plymouth and seeing if that can be further developed. Janet Miller, Nicky Over and John Vinton had an interesting meeting with Refugee Support Devon’s Exeter representative and are exploring any scope this may give for MU support. Our working group will be meeting again before Spring Council on 23rd May, when further details of all of these issues will be given.

John Vinton, Social Policy Representative

 

FUNDRAISING AND COMMUNICATIONS

MU Enterprises

I must start by apologising as this Spring MU Matters 2017 item is almost a repeat of Autumn 2016!

MUe sales continue to be buoyant, especially at our Council Meetings.  Last Spring Council in 2016,  I took over £600, and at the Autumn Council, an astonishing £700. For an hour or so gap at lunchtime it is a fantastic result. Even at our Christmas Fayre I took almost £200.

As always, I remind everyone that I can order online and have it delivered to your door, (£50 or over is post free).  These orders can be treated as Sale or Return through the shop at the MU Centre at St Sidwell’s.

I also carry a small stock in the MU shop, so it’s always worthwhile popping in.

On the subject of the shop, I am appealing for volunteers, I still have two vacant slots, the second Friday and third Tuesday of the month.

Mary Cron, who passed away in February, is sadly missed in the shop. Not only did she cover a Tuesday for years, but she also had a fine hand at calligraphy, and kept our Condolence Book looking beautiful. Mary and her husband organised the Diary and Calendar order from their home for nearly 20 years.  It was quite a shock when I had to take over!

A friend of mine who also lives in Ilfracombe recently celebrated her 70th birthday, and instead of presents she asked for donations towards Mothers’ Union and we had great fun choosing which Ethical Gift to buy with the £160 that her family kindly gave.

The selection of Ethical Gifts is found in the latest MUe catalogue.

Again my thanks to the loyal support you give to me and MUe.

Jenny Facey

 

JENNY FACEY

Sadly for Exeter Diocese MU, we will be saying good bye to Jenny when she and husband Malcolm move to Hereford to be a bit nearer family – including new great-granddaughter Nancy (congratulations from us all)! Jenny has made a tremendous contribution to Exeter Diocese MU, both in her Archdeaconry, Deanery and Branch roles in North Devon, and in her MUe role, organising the shop at the St Sidwell’s Centre, and bringing stock to Councils etc, raising large amounts of money for

Jean Chamberlain receiving her 50 year certificate from Jenny Facey

MU funds – not to forget bundling up the copies of MU Matters twice a year ready for Council. We will be very sorry indeed to see her go, but wish her and Malcolm all the very best in this new chapter of their lives.

 

FINANCE & CENTRAL SERVICES

Christine Vince, our Treasurer, was very pleased to propose that we send £5000 from Diocesan funds to the MU Emergency Relief Fund, with a request that it goes to Syrian refugees. Thanks to her good housekeeping and members’ generosity, the money is available to be used in this way to further our aims.

 

 

DIOCESAN MEMBERS

It is not too long since we celebrated Lady Day with a wonderful service at Exeter Cathedral. The service, which was led by Bishop Sarah, was uplifting and inspiring, and it was a delight to see so many Diocesan Members there. It is always good to be able to put faces to names and I was particularly pleased to meet Anne from Torquay, who arrived in her wheelchair pushed by her grandson. And she had a ringside seat for the service!

I currently have 158 Diocesan Members on my address list. Of these, eight are men and eight are ordained – not the same eight I hasten to add! I probably know about 42 people, some of them very well and others not well enough! I’m sure there are many DMs who I have met but forgive me if I can’t remember your name if I bump into you at a future MU event! I know of at least one person who is celebrating 50 years of MU membership later this year, but I’m sure there are others out there who have been MU members for a very long time. This has led me to wonder if there are others who have an important anniversary coming up. It would be lovely to know so that we can mark it in an appropriate way. So if you or someone else you know has a significant anniversary in the near future, please let me know (by telephone on 01548 559058, or you can e-mail me on maureenlbennett @btinternet.com)

In the meantime, I look forward to meeting up with some of you at Council, Cathedral Prayers or any of our other events.

Maureen Bennett

 

 

FAMILIES FIRST AND THE MOBILE PHONE APP

Families First magazine, as members well know, is a tool through which we share the trials and testimonies of families and individuals touched at every level of family life – from birth to death. It  gets to the heart of matters without being at all preachy; focusing instead on real-life people dealing with real-life situations from the perspective of Christian faith.

With a team of committed writers, we aim to encourage, support and inspire our readers with good quality, well-researched articles in the form of witty columns, fundraising ideas, thought-provoking campaigns and light-hearted advice from reader to reader. We also have regular pieces on wellbeing, teenagers, children’s arts and crafts pages, film, book and music reviews, GREAT competitions and puzzles and prizes.

Profits from sales of Families First magazine support the work of Mothers’ Union in fighting poverty, injustice and tackling family issues.

To make it even easier to access, there is now an app to download the magazine onto mobile phones. It is really easy to use, and very handy for when you find you have time on your hands and unexpectedly need something to read (eg waiting for an appointment)!

The app offers the following features:       

  • Instant access to content from each issue as soon as it is released
  • Download Families First and enjoy offline reading anytime, anywhere
  • Switch to audio so you can listen while you exercise, eat or play
  • Receive push notifications communicating updates, reader offers and news in-between issues
  • Purchase featured books and music at the click of a button
  • Share your favourite articles with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter or via e-mail
  • Search for articles by category and bookmark your favourite content.

To learn more, visit the Families First website – http://muenterprises.org

 

 

CHAPLAIN’S COLUMN

I could, but should I?

So there it was, the first fine (if a little chilly) and free Sunday afternoon. The newly-run-in ‘quite fast’ bike with heated handlebar grips, a new flying jacket for warmth and a pair of windproof jeans and the chance for a ‘ride out’ into the Devon countryside just to see what the bike will do.

I was off! First experimenting through the bends to Totnes, then down the A38 to Plymouth and then out towards Tavistock. The bike is handling wonderfully and when opened up, 60mph (the legal limit on that road), feels a suitably low cruising speed. At Yelverton, a right turn and across the moors to Mortonhampstead. The 40mph limit does feel very slow but then, there are sheep and ponies and walkers on the road and anyway at that speed I can appreciate the view. ­Then a screaming red machine goes past. A learner on a 125cc Sports model. He must be doing his maximum speed of 55mph and it is tempting to take off after him and leave him eating the dust I leave behind. I could, but the question is, should I?

Temptation is often presented to us in this way. Geneticists and bioengineers must face the dilemma all the time. “We have the technology” as they say, but is what they want to do ethical and right? As outsiders, the answer seems clear cut but when we are at the ‘pointy end’ of such discussions it’s often not that easy.

It is a question that often arises in our own lives: I could do whatever, but should I? Just because we can do something, it isn’t always right and we have to say no.

Criminals often excuse their actions by talking about ‘victimless crime’ as though such a thing existed. I can steal that, but should I? No one is hurt, and it would be good for me – where is the harm? Try asking any of the staff in the shop where my daughter works how they felt when they lost their sales bonus because of shoplifters. Sin and crime always have victims, and we must recognise that all our actions have effects on ourselves and others. When a Vicar challenged a parishioner about his behaviour in stealing from his employer, he was horrified when the thief offered the comment: ‘Christ has already paid for my sins, so I don’t have to worry’. God loves us and forgives us only when we really repent, and that involves recognising our failure in succumbing to temptation, making restitution, and trying even harder not to fall again.

But back to my ride and the learner. Much to my shame I thought about going after him, BUT I rejected the idea not because I could not, but because I believed that it would have been wrong to do so, and would have made me a lot worse than him. After all, he had only just begun riding bikes; I have been riding more than 45 years. I should know better. So I stayed at 40mph, and when a second bike sent passed me going at a considerably faster speed than the first, I still stayed at forty.

I saw them again about a mile further on, stopped and at the side of the road. The second rider was off his bike and talking seriously with the young man. The second rider must have got off his bike quickly because he had clearly not had the chance to turn his blue flashing light off.

Had I followed the urge and taken off past the youngster, I realised it could have been me at the side of the road giving my details to the police and facing a fine or worse.

Without gloating, as I sailed past I enjoyed the rest of my ride, even though I never got to the bike’s top speed!

Ian

INFORMATION ON THE MOTHERS’ UNION WEBSITE

The central Mothers’ Union website holds a wealth of information about all aspects of MU activities, and is well worth exploring. Here are just a few:

Children’s On-line safety

MU information from Bye Buy Childhood has been used by Vodafone for a leaflet which is going out to all Primary school children. Learning to use computers, smartphones and other digital gadgets wisely and safely is a critical part         of bringing up children, and keeping them safe and ensuring their learning is age-appropriate is a vital part of parenting today. In their Digital Parenting magazine Vodafone include a useful age-based advice checklist to help you and your family manage the online world, and you can find this on the MU website on the following page: http://www.themothersunion.org/keeping-your-child-safe-online

 

Partnership Projects

Mothers’ Union is working in partnership with the Children’s Society on two new ventures; supporting Christingle services and the refugee crisis by promoting partnership projects through the Media and on social media, for example Twitter. Mothers’ Union actively seeks to support families who are vulnerable in society, and members around the world respond to the needs they see within their own local communities. One page concerned with this is: http://www.mothersunion.org/our-focus/helping-those-facing-adversity/

 

Parenting

‘Passionate about Parenting’ is the name of the Mothers’ Union’s training course which equips members to facilitate their own parents’ groups.

Evidence shows that parents gain more from participating in parents’ groups that are well-facilitated, so Mothers’ Union offers its volunteers the opportunity to access an externally-accredited training programme in group facilitation skills. The course, which is accredited through the Open College Network London, helps to ensure that Mothers’ Union parents’ groups meet national standards of quality and excellence.

Further details are available on the following page: http://www.themothersunion.org/our-focus/supporting-family-life/parenting-programme/our-uk-ireland-parenting-programme

This has been a very long page but it contains all of MU Matters edited by Nicky Over for the spring edition.