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President's Summer Letter 2024

My dear friends,


I hope that this finds you well. At last the weather is beginning to feel a little more like summer. The sea of umbrellas on the television for the King’s Birthday Trooping of the Colour was a lesson to be stoical and to carry on, regardless! What a splendid spectacle of precision and colour it was, despite the rain. We wish the King and the Princess of Wales well in their cancer journeys. I’m sure many of us can identify with the effects of chemotherapy as the Princess of Wales described. May they both soon be well again, and to those of you who are unwell, have had recent surgery or broken bones, may God bless you with a swift recovery.


I am delighted to announce that we have some new Trustees in our Diocese. We are very grateful to Rosemary Spada (Brislington), Gill Beer (Oldland), Valerie Bishop (Henleaze) and Jim Bradshaw (Yate) for stepping up. I know that they will be a great addition to our leadership team. As this is the last year in this Triennium several of the current leaders will be stepping down, so we are looking for a new President, Vice President (Bristol end), some Deanery leaders, Treasurer, and a Minute Secretary. Rev Chris Dobson will also be stepping down as Chaplain. If you think you know someone who would be suitable for any of these roles, please get in touch with me. I have nomination forms.


A huge thank you to Linda Rawlings who has been looking after our valued Indoor members and

leading our faith and prayer group. Valerie Bishop will now be taking over some of the Indoor Member Communication. Linda will continue to lead a brilliant team on prayer and faith. Thank you for the thoughtful prayers and worship that you prepare for us.


We have made great strides in the Bristol Diocese, transforming and growing into an organisation that is actively caring for families and for the vulnerable in society. The latest news is of 6 coaches that have been booked to take families to Weston-Super-Mare in the summer holidays. To fund raise for that, Yate Branch is holding a Cream Tea and Promises Auction on Friday 19th July from 2pm at St Mary’s Yate. All of you will be welcome to that.


I look forward to seeing some of you at the Provincial Gathering in Oxford next Saturday 22nd June. It should be a good day.


Our membership numbers are just about stable, which is a huge development, and I thank you all and welcome all new members. We are taking on the Central Mothers’ Union challenge for growth and I’m looking forward to sharing more of our ideas and thoughts at the Autumn Gathering on October 12th.

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We are looking at growth of numbers of members and even more importantly, growth of ourselves as disciples, growing towards becoming the people God would like us to be.

I have enjoyed attending two Deanery Festivals this month. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to gather with a common purpose, to worship and enjoy fellowship together. I am enormously proud also of three of our Branches who have achieved the Bronze Award in the RISE UP Challenge.

Congratulations to Horfield, Corsham and Yate as they receive their certificates. Any Branch or

Church can apply for this, and I have a ‘Step by step guide’ available for anyone who would like more details.


I am also happy to come to Branches or Churches, by arrangement, to talk about the RISE UP against Domestic Abuse Campaign. I would like to be able to say that I have visited every branch, where possible, before the end of the year. If I haven’t been to visit you yet, please get in touch.


Presenting the RISE UP Bronze Award Certificate to Carolyn from Horfield Branch. Please note the new Diocesan flag ‘Wendy’s Flag’ in the background! This flag, donated by Jim Bradshaw in memory of his wife Wendy, is available to borrow for any MU event that you might be planning.

(Something to think about! We have been asked to start planning special events for the 150th Anniversary of Mothers’ Union in 2026- ideas welcome!)


Special greetings to our many Diocesan members. It has been lovely to see you at some of our events, at our Spring Gathering and at the Cathedral lunchtime Eucharist on the first Thursday each month. I will just mention that as Diocesan members you are, of course, eligible to apply for any of the leadership roles as described.


Work towards the new South West Cluster MU is going well with a great deal of legal detail, Bristol ably headed up by Rev Sarah Wyman. There will be a separate newsletter for all members in all the 8 SW Dioceses being sent out shortly with all the information about the changes that will happen from next year. I don’t believe that it will make any noticeable difference at Branch or member level, apart from that the payment of subscriptions by Direct Debit will become an option, making life much easier for Treasurers at every level.


This comes, as always, with my love and prayers for your wellbeing, peace and joy that comes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. God Bless you xxx


Jacky

Jacky Fredrickson MU Diocesan President Bristol


Reflection

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the

wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19


God of unchanging power, your Holy Spirit enables us to proclaim your love in challenging times and places. Give to all members of the Mothers’ Union steadfastness, fresh understanding, and a clear vision, that together, we may continue the mission to which we are called. Amen.

MU June Prayer.


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