My Dear Friends,
I hope this finds you well and enjoying some sunshine. It seemed like a long winter to me and it is uplifting to see the sun at last, and to see the summer flowers blooming. I have been particularly cheered by the amazing displays of ox-eye daisies and poppies that have been prolific along the roadsides. I am also excited to have seen newts in my pond this year. God’s wonderful creation! We must take good care of it!
Mothers’ Union in Bristol is thriving in some areas and there have been a number of new members enrolled, including several clergy. If you are one of these new members, a warm welcome to you, it is wonderful to have you on board. I wish you well on your MU journey.
I am intent on team building and to that end have enjoyed two well attended Branch Leader Days recently. (See Picture above) These have been for leaders and committee members and it has been good to share with them the current and ongoing work of the wider Mothers’ Union. We shared thoughts and practical ideas for meetings and joined in prayer and worship together. It was good to hear of plans for garden party events and other fund raisers including for ‘The Summer of Hope Appeal’. You may have plans to mark Mary Sumner Day on August 9th. If you are involved in any of these events I pray for their success and look forward to hearing about them, please take photos and send them for our website and Facebook page. Any donations or giving please share with Rachel for our MU Live page.
I would like to reach out to our growing number of Diocesan members, and to get to know you. I am indebted to Sarah for keeping you informed with latest news etc. It is in my plans to arrange some kind of get together before long, either in person or virtually, whichever suits best. I will mention that our monthly Eucharist service at the Bristol Cathedral is on the first Thursday of the month at 12.30pm and all are very welcome to any or all of these special services.
As we reach the half way stage in this Triennium, your Trustees are actively planning for the future and praying for people with enthusiasm and skills to step forward now to form the planning teams going forward. If you think this might be you please get in touch. Don’t ignore that still, small voice of God! Is He calling you? It is a real opportunity
to develop your faith and to make a difference! There is a lot happening in Mothers’ Union at the moment and it is exciting being part of these cutting edge developments!
We are actively engaged in a pilot scheme with other Dioceses within the South West Cluster. This aims to reduce admin, simplify structures and give more time to pursue important areas of Mothers’ Union such as Pastoral care, growing faith and membership and transforming ourselves and the lives of others. I look forward to sharing more information about these plans at our Autumn Gathering on October 14th which is being held at St Nicholas Church 2 Charfield, Yate BS37 4LG. (Details to follow)
Our projects are all active and it is good to hear of the impact these are having in the lives of our communities, homeless people, prisoners families, families of childr
en receiving treatment in the Bristol Children’s Hospital, the families of disabled children accessing special play in Gympanzees and especially at the moment as plans are being made for our AFIA (Away from it All) coach trips to Weston Super Mare, which will enable many deserving families to experience the joy of a day at the seaside. We pray for the ongoing success of these projects which rely on the generosity of our members. Thank you!
Plans are also underway for several of us to attend the Mothers’ Union Annual Gathering which this year is in York on September 22nd. It is not too late to buy ticket
s! It promises to be a very special day, culminating in a service with the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, in York Minster.
I have really enjoyed visiting many of you at your Branches and special services. I hope that in the coming months I might be able to meet up with many more of you. I wish you well in your summer activities and pray that you will be well, and that God blesses you with peace and contentment whatever your circumstances.
With my love and prayers,