The Crowthorne branch of the Mothers’ Union has a membership of sixty-five people. We have two meetings a month, the first on the second Wednesday of the month at 2.00 p.m. when we will often have a speaker and the second on the fourth Thursday of the month, our Prayer and Coffee morning. All our meetings are in the church hall and everyone is welcome, member or non-member.
At branch level we support St John’s by helping with young families, supervising the children’s corner in church, helping with the Minus 5’s, recording a piece for the Church of England School video, raising funds for the church with our famous cake stalls and offering help when needed. We divide our members into groups and each committee member has responsibility for a patch. This way we can keep in touch with our members whether they come to our meetings or not and feel this is part of our ministry. We found this, plus the monthly letter we send out, very helpful especially during lockdown. Some members cannot attend meetings and become part of the Praying Fellowship but we still regard them as an important part of our branch.
We are part of the Oxford Diocese Mothers’ Union and we support the diocesan projects, in particular the “Away From It All” holiday scheme that provides families for much needed breaks. We raise money by selling hand-made cards and second-hand books, sponsored walks and holding raffles. We collect and write Christmas cards for prisoners in Bullingdon Prison, and also toiletries which we bag up for the parents and carers of children in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. We also take part in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, a United Nations event to which the Mothers’ Union is closely linked and other projects we are asked to undertake.
The Mothers’ Union has 4,000,000 members in 84 countries and the organisation has set up a wave of prayer that encircles the globe. We hold in prayer the dioceses allocated in the Prayer Diary that each member receives and make this part of our monthly prayer meeting. All our meetings begin with prayer and we hold dear the personal prayer one of our founder, Mary Sumner.
Recently we sent over 40 bags to the John Radcliffe hospital for parents and carers who arrive in distress with a sick child.
All this day, O Lord, let me touch as many lives as possible for thee; and every life I touch, do by thy spirit quicken, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I breathe, or the life I live.