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July 9th
Members of Rye Branch met at a members home for their annual garden party on a lovely summers evening. Pimms and a bring and share supper were enjoyed by all.



For the last three years, our caravans have been very ably managed by Brenda Snashall . Her family is now in need of her increased support and sadly she cannot continue so we must find a new Manager. This is a hugely important and rewarding role in the Mothers’ Union in Chichester Diocese. You do not need to live near either of the caravans as there are excellent teams of members who meet and greet our guests, make sure the caravans are clean and well supplied with towels and bed linen and close down and open up at the end and beginning of each season. The local teams also maintain the caravans organising new equipment and repairs.

The manager’s role is to take bookings, help people decide which caravan would suit them best and handle the booking forms. They will be provided with a dedicated mobile phone. Brenda will give them all the help needed in understanding what has to be done, much of which is on the telephone. Think and pray about this, maybe there is someone you know who would love to be more involved or maybe it is you who are being called to do this. Please contact Brenda or Scilla Page (contact details available from Branch Leaders).

Our AFIA holidays are one of our most valuable projects in the Diocese.  We support families with a free holiday in one of our 2 caravans.  The caravans can also be used by anyone in need of a break during school term time.  Improvements to the caravan in Selsey have now been completed.  There is  a large, secure veranda and broad wooden steps with two handrails.  Anyone who remembers the wobbly metal stairs with one grab rail, will know that this is a great advance.  Please raise money or make a donation to the Diocesan Treasurer so that we can carry on with this great work.
Equally important is everybody’s part in publicizing the caravans. 
Families in need of a week’s holiday are our special concern, but older people can take a break during term time.  Offer the idea to people you know, to our hard working clergy and think about it for yourself and your family.  
Our lovely caravans are there to be used.  
They are something unique to our Diocese and we should be very proud 
of all the good work that is done through their use.



Midhurst and Easebourne Mothers’ Union


Mothering Sundayposter


Midhurst vicar Dave Willis used the Mothers’ Union 
Mothering Sunday Service at Midhurst Parish Church. 
100 posies made by the Mothers’ Union were distributed 
during the service and a collection for AFIA raised £301.22.

National Marriage Week

marriage week

February we celebrated Marriage Week with a display in Midhurst Church. Members of Mothers’ Union and the Church put their names on a paper heart stating the number of years they had been married. A lot of interest was shown and people were amazed at the number of years couples had been married. The couple in the photograph celebrate their Golden Wedding this year. Information on the Mothers’ Union involvement in marriage was also shown. A wedding bouquet completed the display.


Shrove Tuesday 13th February
Ten members of Horsham Mothers' Union visited St Swithun's Church, East Grinstead for our District Shriving Service.  Afterwards we were treated to coffee and pancakes, with assorted toppings, in the church hall.



Mothers' Union received  a magnificent present of £750 worth of toys from the Toy Retailers Association, which Sarah Watson, one of our younger members and a parenting facilitator, and Scilla Page collected recently.  Here is a picture of Sarah and the large number of goodies now in our possession. 
So many children will benefit in the year ahead, it’s wonderful.

4th December ~ Bexhill District Quiet Day

Bexhill District held their annual Quiet Day at St Mary the Virgin Church in Willingdon on Monday 4th  December. Over 40 members attended and we were pleased to be joined by a group of non-members from the parish who were attracted by the flyers.  The day, under the title of ”My Soul Magnifies the Lord”, was related to Mary’s Magnificat and was planned and conducted by  the Revd Merriel Woodward, one of the assistant clergy from the parish.  The day was much appreciated by the participants.  

We started with a short morning act of worship to mark the Year of Prayer across the Diocese and then went on to 2 sessions to take us up to lunch time.  Both started and finished with suitable music and were followed by a period of quiet and a sheet of thoughts, questions, pictures and readings to help.  The first session was called “Making Room for God “and the second “Show your Face”.  

After lunch in the Memorial Hall, we returned to the Church for a Eucharist service which incorporated the third session called “Body and Soul”, and more thoughts, music and pictures.  All was beautifully combined to produce a peaceful and thoughtful start to Advent which we all appreciated before the extreme activity of the rest of the preparations for the Birth of Jesus.

My thanks to everyone who helped in any way to make this event the success it was.

Hazel Thorn

24th September 

new branchAll Saints’ Church has its own Branch of the Mothers’ Union, commissioned yesterday at the 10am Service. Kathryn Anderson, Mothers’ Union Diocesan President (and a member of All Saints’) enrolled 7 new members including the Vicar Robert Lovatt and his wife Marion, Andy and wife Sonia, Derek, Christine and Kate.
Three members transferred their membership from other Dioceses - Dorothy, Jill and Val.
More members are waiting to be enrolled but were not able to be at the Service yesterday.
MU members from other Parishes came to support us from St Richard’s Heathfield, St Peter and St Paul’s Hellingly, St Mary’s Willingdon, St Mary’s Old Town, St Mary’s Rye, St Mary’s Westham, St John’s Polegate, Uckfield, Holy Trinity Eastbourne with written messages love, prayers and thoughts from St Richard’s Langney and St Peter’s Bexhill! It was great to have Christine, former Diocesan President, from Rye, to preach on ‘Tabitha - a lady of goodness’ but she also spoke about Mary Sumner, the founder of Mothers’ Union. Emma and Rachel from ‘The Vintage Kitchen’ prepared our delicious lunch of baked potatoes with assorted fillings and salad followed by cheesecake with coulis and assorted fresh fruit. A very happy and memorable new branchoccasion! This is the third Branch to open in a month!

16th September 

efccThis afternoon we have had the Eastbourne Family Contact Centre Celebration and Cream Tea! It was well attended by members and local supporters. The Judge talked about the Court Process and his 23 years as a Judge. He retired yesterday and Eastbourne Court also closed where he has been sitting. On behalf of Mothers' Union I presented him with a silver MU engraved pen and a card signed by the Trustees and Volunteers to thank him for his 10 years as our Patron, which he is relinquishing now. I presented the Volunteers with Service Certificates produced by NACCC and presented Janet with a card and plant to thank her for her loyal support as my Deputy, which she is standing down from now. The Cream Tea afterwards was amazing, warm scones, cream and jam and a selection of delicious cakes - lemon drizzle, coffee sponge, chocolate brownie and Victoria sponge. Thank you all for your prayerful support.

15/16th July

EmmyDiocesan President Kathryn Anderson met with Emmy, Mothers' Union (MU) Coordinator in Kericho Diocese during Emmy's visit to former Diocesan President Chris Emson in Rye. Kericho Diocese is a Diocesan link. Until recently MU members in Kericho were linked with MU members in Chichester Diocese but are now linked with Winchester Diocese MU

On Sunday morning Emmy attended the 10.30 service at St Mary's Church in Rye and is pictured left with Rye members and Rye Rector Canon David Frost who is also Diocesan Chaplain.

13th July

cream teaMembers of St Richard's, Langney, enjoyed a cream tea to raise funds for Mothers' Union projects.

8th July - Family Fun Day at Amberley Chalk Pits Museum








June 20th - Ringmer Park Open Garden
Deputy Lord Lt  Deborah Bedford and her husband Michael kindly opened their beautiful garden for  Mothers' Union to raise funds.
ringmer parkringmer park
ringmer park
ringmer park
ringmer park
ringmer park





Mothering Sunday, 26th March


St Mary’s Walberton had a full church with 80 posies made by members for every lady there. We also enrolled  2 new members into the Mothers’ Union.  Bishop Michael, himself a member, welcomed them in because our vicar Tim Ward was away, visiting his mum.  Our new members are Maureen, who gave the intercession prayers and Sandy, who helped cook for our fund raising lunch two weeks ago. 
We have raised almost £500 for Diocesan projects


mothering sundaymothering sunday


 Crawley District’s Shriving service and
Wave of prayer on 28
th February
held at Horsham.

Wave of Prayer during February
Branches met to pray for their link Diocese' in other parts of the world.
wave of prayerwave of prayer
wave of prayer


Mothers' Union provided the refreshments at the Citizenship Ceremony at Hastings Town Hall on 22nd February. Brenda from Rye, Vikki from Battle and Diocesan President Kathryn are seen here with the Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Judy Rogers and Deputy-Lieutenant, Kathy Gore. Nineteen new British Citizens were welcomed at the Ceremony.


Thanks to the Toy Retailers Association and The Entertainer toy shops our Action & Outreach co-ordinator, Scilla Page, was able to collect these toys recently which will be used by children in the play area and visiting hall at Ford Prison. 


Horsham members enjoyed a Christmas lunch (roast turkey and all the trimmings) in December. Forty members attended, held a raffle and made a good profit for Mothers' Union projects

Inter-Faith Event at St Peter's Church, Brighton, 15th November.
inter-Faith ForumInter-Faith Forum
Karen Hill, Trish Clarke, Kathryn Anderson (Diocesan President), 
Michele White and Scilla Page
Inter-Faith Forum

Walberton St. Mary’s Mothers’ Union enrolled three new members at their Harvest Festival service on Sunday 2nd October.   Jean Hardwick was our Enrolling Member, sadly for us the last time she will be our leader, because she is moving to Manormead in Surrey. Jean has inspired and guided generations of MU members and was the first District Leader when the Diocese was reorganised.   Our new members, Sarah, Sue and Caroline will be keeping up her good work with families in the future.    

MS GraveWWP Lynne Tembey laid flowers on the grave of Mary Sumner and her husband.
On the way back home members visited Old Alresford Church, where  MU began, and found these rules which they still thought appropriate for today!


cakeFifty Five members from Chichester Diocese recently attended the General Meeting in Basingstoke at the Hampshire Court Hotel with about 2000 others from across UK, Ireland and Worldwide! It began with 'The Mothers' Union Story' by Saltmine Theatre Company. A very moving       re-enactment of Mary Sumner and how Mothers' Union began 140 years ago. It is likely to be available on DVD. Our Central Chaplain, Bishop Andrew, then led Opening Worship. Lynne, WWP, gave her official address, 'Called into God's Service', a very heartfelt look at how Mothers' Union has made a difference for 140 years. Lynne closed by stating, 'I believe passionately that we have a vibrant and immensely valuable movement'. Members Jenny and Chris from Kent made the Celebration Cake. Bev CEO, Lynne and Andrew cut it together before lunch. After lunch Daniel, Head of Fundraiding and Communication, shared 'Our time to shine'. Have we got the time to make a difference? Everybody wants to be part of something which makes a difference! Please share your stories. Bev then led us in 'A Leap of Faith' and she shared her dreams and inspired us all to be encouraged: 'With God all things are possible". Matthew 19 v 26. Lynne shared with us that next year's theme is 'Faith in Action' and that the General Meeting is in Edinburgh on 29th and 30th September 2017. The afternoon closed with Worship including the prayer written by the Archbishop of Canterbury and singing from the Mary Sumner Choir of Zambia. A truly inspiring 2 days!'





























Winchester Cathedral




citizenship ceremonyWednesday 21st September was the first time Mothers' Union served tea and cake after the Citizenship Ceremony in Lewes Town Hall. The ceremonies rotate monthly around East Sussex and are also held in Hastings, Crowborough and Eastbourne. Members really enjoyed the afternoon and were very well received by the Town Hall Staff and our 20 new British Citizens and their families. This is good outreach for Mothers' Union! Big thanks to the team and particularly for the delicious selection of cakes!'


Future dates:
October 19th Hastings Town Hall at 11.30am


November 23rd Eastbourne Town Hall at 2pm


December 19th Crowborough Town Hall at 11am


Please get in touch with Kathryn Anderson, DP, for more information.


Lord-Lieutenant for East Sussex, Mr Peter Field, will be speaking at the start of Autumn Council and will be mentioning the Citizenship Ceremonies.


sherbourne roomWalberton St Mary’s Mothers Union enjoying their tea in the Bishop’s Palace Sherborne Room.  This was their summer outing and they were able to include a member who has recently moved into sheltered

MU members of Aldingbourne, Barnham and Eastergate knitted a wonderful new wardrobe for the dolls in the Ford prison play area. Stunning skill!



garden partygarden partySaturday August 13th Westham  Branch held a Garden Party in the home of one of their members and raised £250 for the Mothers' Union Big Summer Appeal.


garden party





garden party



garden party








garden party








Bexhill District Mary Sumner Day Service, 9th August
St Augustine's Church, Bexhill on Sea
Before the servicebefore the service
1Hellingly Branch




Battle Branch
Members from Eastbourne and Hastings
Brede BranchHellingly Branch
Rye Branch & the Diocesan Chaplain
Members from branches across Bexhill District met at St Augustine's Church to celebrate Mary Sumner Day with a traditional Eucharist.
The service was followed by a picnic lunch and fellowship time. A chance for members to meet old friends! 


At the end of March, Janet Webber decided to swim the length of the English Channel, 22 miles, in the outdoor pool at the David Lloyd Club in Eastbourne. Janet says:
"I thought I could do 1 mile/80 lengths each week for 22 weeks, in half mile/40 length sessions. I was soon doing 3x40 lengths a week so finished in 16 weeks, well ahead of schedule. The final half mile session was done in brilliant sunshine with several of my Mothers' Union supporters and friends there to count me down, wave British and French flags and raise a cheer at the end! My church, Mothers' Union and other friends and family were all so supportive and generous that I was able to collect £1,500 for the Eastbourne Family Contact Centre."


Janet's Supporters


100th Join Mothers' Union and live forever?

Happy 100th birthday to Joan, from West Tarring branch! Joan is the second member of the branch to celebrate her 100th birthday this year.


Diocesan President's Sponsored Cycle Ride
Here is news of Kathryn's third weekend ride of 60 miles. Kathryn has completed 60 miles this morning, leaving at 6.15am - Beachy Head circuit first followed by Normans Bay circuit and this delicious breakfastbreakfast alfresco at Ocean View Cafe in Pevensey Bay with 22 miles completed. After 20 minute stop she carried on, non-stop to Heathfield and back on the Cuckoo Trail. Total cycling time of 5 hours. With only a week to go, it is recommended to have a quieter week of training, so Kathryn will do three 1 hour rides on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and two 70 lengths swims on Monday and Friday! Please sponsor Kathryn to raise money for Mothers' Union. It is such a worthy cause. More information on Kathryn's Just Giving Page: or text QCCL72 and amount in £ to 70070. Thank you. For more information on the ride look at
cycleMiles 0-30: Piccadilly to Hammersmith, Chiswick to Mortlake, Richmond Park, Kingston and Hampton Court Palace. Miles 30-65: Weybridge and West Byfleet, Newlands Corner and Abinger Hammer, Leith Hill and Dorking. Miles 65-100: Boxhill and Leatherhead, Oxshott and Esher, Wimbledon, Putney, Westminster and finish on the Mall! Thank you for all your prayers and support. Let's hope the weather is dry and Kathryn perseveres to complete all 100 miles!






St Richard'sSt Richard's Branch, Langney, recently held a Cream Tea to celebrate the 140 year anniversary of Mothers' Union. A lotto game using events in 1876 was played and a raffle was also held. All proceeds from the afternoon went to Eastbourne Family Contact Centre. 

St Richard'sst Richards










Monday 27th June

East Blatchington Branch recently visited Nyman's House and Gardens. They had a wonderful day, returning home with armloads of plants.


east blatchingtoneast blatchington















Horsham Branch had a successful outing to Polesden Lacey on Tuesday 21 June.  Fifteen of our members travelled in four cars; 12 National Trust Members; 3 non members had a reduction of £2.50 off the £15 entrance charge.  Beautiful building, garden and ideal weather.  Some of us wish to go again when the 'Iris Room' and 'Peony Room' are in bloom.
















Well done Jane! 

Jane Simpson abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in 3 minutes at 4pm on 19th June. The fastest time of the day. There were Mothers' Union members, Jane's Vicar, Dave, family, friends and neighbours to greet Jane afterwards! Jane has raised £2,508.46 including Gift Aid for Mothers' Union. Jane and Mary Sumner House says a big thank you to everyone who supported Jane. £500 will be sent to Chichester Diocese for AFIA at Jane's request.







(left) Members and friends wait with bated breath!








Saturday June 11th

coffee morningBexhill District Mothers' Union members held a coffee morning at Westham this morning. The photographs show some customers and the Rural Dean opening the event.


coffee morning
coffee morning





Spring Council & AGM Saturday 14th May

Kathryn Anderson, Diocesan President, opened the meeting with Colossians 4:2-6. and introduced the keynote speaker, Beverley Jullien, CEO of Mothers' Union.

Beverley JullienDP








During the meeting a presentation was made to the previous Diocesan President, Chris Emson who received a standing ovation.

chris emson










David Frost and Chris Emson

The Diocesan Chaplain, The Reverend Canon David Frost, gave a little insight into the difficulties Chris had faced living, as she does, at the far east of the diocese.





Also during the meeting members were able to see displays of the projects which are organised by branches throughout the diocese.





















News From West Tarring Branch
Marjorie, the oldest member of West Tarring Branch has celebrated 100 years of age and 66 years of membership to Mothers ' Union recently.

News from St Peter's, Bexhill Branch

bexhill st peters


Diocesan President, Kathryn Anderson, was invited to St Peter's Church, Bexhill, to attend their Mothers' Union Corporate Communion on Wednesday 20th April and to present certificates to (left) Jean Lea Whitaker who has been a Mothers' Union Member for 60 years and to Vivian Powell who has been a Member for 50 years. The Revd David Reynish (on right) led the Service. Afterwards they met in the hall for coffee and cake!



Two amazing members and their fundraising efforts! 




Jane Simpson, a church member from St Mary Magdalene and St Denys parish in Midhurst, is aiming to raise £1,000 for Mothers’ Union after her vicar put an idea into her head. Jane was looking for a way to celebrate the organisation's 140 year anniversary this year when her vicar Rev Dave suggested abseiling.

Jane has been a member of the Mothers’ Union for over 30 years but has become a more active member after retiring from teaching in 2000. She has always admired the amazing work that the organisation carries out throughout the world and wanted to do something to celebrate this significant anniversary in a special way, so decided in a MAD moment to try and raise £1000 by abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth on Sunday, 19th June at 4 pm.
You can help her reach her goal by sponsoring her through Justgiving



Janet Webber, a member from Eastbourne, is 'swimming the Channel' and taking 22 weeks to do it! Basically she is swimming 22 miles, the width of the Channel, at the David Lloyd Club in Eastbourne. 80 lengths of their pool is one mile and Janet aims to swim one mile (80 lengths) per week for 22 weeks. Usually in two lots of half miles and so far all in the outdoor pool.
So far Janet has swum 3 miles with 19 to go!
Her progress chart is pictured left.
Anyone wanting to sponsor Janet can do so by printing this FORM


Lady Day Service at Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield


for Crawley, Brighton & Lewes Districts on Monday 4th April


lady day service

lady day service











lady day service












Diocesan Festival Service
Commissioning of Officers for 2016-2018
at Chichester Cathedral on 2nd April.


serviceBishop Nicholas Reade & Kathryn Anderson







diocesan banner











A Message from the new Diocesan President

'What a wonderful day it has been today! Our Diocesan Festival Service and Commissioning of Officers for 2016-9 at Chichester Cathedral at 2.30pm. First we enjoyed a Ploughman's lunch at noon, prepared by Chris the former Diocesan President and her helpers from Rye. Hosted by St Paul's Church, near the Cathedral. Thank you to Heather and members of St Paul's for their hospitality on a lovely sunny day. At the Cathedral around 300 Mothers' Union members and guests were gathered from across East and West Sussex for my Commissioning and that of the Trustees, Diocesan Chaplain, Diocesan Secretary and Diocesan Treasurer - my husband, Andy!


I was thrilled to be supported by all the members and my family - son George, daughter Elizabeth, my Mum and Mother-in-law - Vicar Robert and his wife Marian from my home Church of All Saints' Eastbourne, Father Tom and his wife Fiona from my home Branch of St Mary's, Old Town, Eastbourne, Provincial President Nikki, Diocesan President Elizabeth from Portsmouth Diocese, Former Diocesan Presidents of Chichester Chris, Mary and Margaret, Director of Family Support Work Martin, Church Army Officer Graham, Union of Catholic Mothers Joan and Janet, friends from Eastbourne and Dorking and both of HM Lord Lieutenants of East and West Sussex and Vice Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex!


Grateful thanks are due to Bishop Nicholas Reade (Rtd) who presided and preached, and was accompanied by his wife Christine in the congregation.


A 30 strong Mothers' Union choir sang four worship songs beautifully during the Eucharist. I read the first lesson from Acts 4 v 13 to 21 from the pulpit. Thank you to Head Verger Howard and his team and other Cathedral Staff for overseeing the whole Service. 


Thank you to all of those who prayed for us today and thank you for all your loving best wishes. I was very moved by the whole occasion!'










Parade of Branch Banners outside the Cathedral after the service

































The former Diocesan President, Mrs Chris Emson,

explains the Comper Banner to an interested guest.


The Comper Banner was designed by Sir Ninian Comper for Chichester Diocese Mothers' Union.





Bishop Nicholas Reade

Diocesan Chaplain(left)
The Right Revd Nicholas Reade who presided and preached at the service.



Diocesan Chaplain, Revd Canon David Frost and Mrs Sara Stoner, Vice Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and Patron.





The new Trustee Board


News From Midhurst & Easebourne Branch



marriage week 1



Midhurst and Easebourne Mothers’ Union celebrated National Marriage Week by organising a display of photographs in Midhurst Parish Church of wedding couples cutting their wedding cakes. This prompted a lot of interesting comments, even a remark from Mothers’ Union Visitors from Yorkshire who offered their congratulations on the display in the church visitors book. People enjoyed guessing who the couples were! cakesOn the final Sunday special prayers were offered in the Intersessions for marriage and the work of the Mothers’ Union, this was then followed at the end of the service by Bubbly and a ‘cup – cake’ wedding cake made by two members. The fake wedding cake loaned for the display was from The Exclusive Cake Shop and Vintage Tearooms. The branch  also wished Happy Birthday to two members who were celebrating their 70th and 80th birthdays.



On Monday 29 February an evening flower demonstration by Angie Hyde took 
place celebrating 140 years of the Mothers' Union
 in St Mary's Horsham in aid of 
Chichester Diocese AFIA (Away From It All)caravan holidays and promoting 
Horsham's new project to support RCSAS (Rape Crisis Surrey and Sussex) with 
a general raffle.  

We thank the Normandy branch of the WI for providing the drink on entry and the 
canapés during the interval and all of the Parish members especially St Mary's for 
providing the venue.

Our Diocesan President Kathryn Anderson started the evening with prayer and 
the Operations Co-ordinator of RCSAS, a Horsham branch member, 
gave a short talk at the start of the interval.

The Horsham branch of the Mothers' Union thank all who supported these worthy 
causes and hope the demonstration has inspired others to join the posy making 
prior to Mothering Sunday, flower arrangers in our churches and also to visit the 
St Mary's as well as the Chichester Flower Festivals. 


Chichester District Meeting
Presentations were made to the retiring District Chairman and Secretary at a meeting on 29th February by the new postholders.

Wave of Prayer 26th - 29th February
Hurstpierpoint & Hassocks BranchBranches around the diocese met to pray for the diocesan links at various times over this weekend. Some met in a member's home and others in their church or church hall. 
Worth & Pound HIll Branch

Worth & Pound Hill Branch met from

1.00pm - 2.00pm. Twelve members met in one of the Meeting Rooms at  St Barnabas church; they began with a CD of ’O Lord hear my prayer' (Taize) then the lighting of the  Mothers’ Union candle and after an opening prayer, sang ‘God is working his purpose out’ followed by Readings, poems, prayers for & information about our Linked Dioceses and  lit a candle for each country before  praying for them.

The focus at St Andrew's, West Tarring
where seven members met to pray

The Bishops of Guinea and Freetown visited Chichester Diocese and Church House on February 19th. New Diocesan President Kathryn Anderson presented gifts.
west africabishop








Bishop of Guinea, Jacques Boston in red and the Bishop of Freetown,
Thomas Wilson in purple.

west africawest africa









Former Diocesan President, Chris Emson with both Bishops and the new Diocesan President, Kathryn Anderson.

News from Rye Branch in National Marriage Week
cake cutting
These couples attended the 10.30 service at St Mary's Church, Rye, on Sunday 14th February to have their engagement rings blessed. This was part of a weekend when  couples who are to be married in St Mary's during 2016 participated in the Mothers' Union marriage preparation course 'Loving for Life'.
The service and blessing was conducted by the Rector of Rye and also MU Diocesan Chaplain, The Revd Canon David Frost (pictured with the couples). After the service an engagement cake was cut and a bottle of bubbly opened.

News from Crawley District 
It was a damp and very windy Shrove Tuesday but being true Mothers’ Union, 
35 of Crawley District Members arrived at St Barnabas, Pound Hill, this year for the 
annual Shriving Service.
The service was taken by our Curate, Rev’d Steve Burston, 
who had never been faced with so many Mothers’ Union folk before but he soon 
relaxed and put everyone at their ease. Sallyanne Waller, who looks after our 
District’s Indoor Members, read the Lesson & Psalm, the Intercessions were written 
and read by Jacky Hemsley, the outgoing head of Faith & Policy. Branch Leader of 
Worth & Pound Hill, Mary Fry, and the outgoing District Treasurer, Joan Tick, 
were Chalice Assistants, all in all showing a lovely District feeling of fellowship in the 
year of the “Celebration of our Faith”.

During the service, stones, which had been issued with the service sheets, were 
placed in the Font and washed as a symbol of cleansing, shriving, giving us all 
a ‘fresh’ start.

It was wonderful to welcome Kathryn Anderson, our new D.P. to this service as it 
gave her and us an opportunity to get to know each other, thank you for making the 
long trek from East Sussex, Kathryn.

Following the service we all gathered for coffee and pancakes in the Pastoral 
Centre attached to St Barnabas Church, this enabled everyone to relax, have time to 
talk, renew old friendships and make new ones.


Crawley District wishes everyone a blessed Lent.

sales tableoutgoing branch leader


News from Ringmer Branch
ringmer mu

At our AGM, we presented thank you gifts to our outgoing Branch Leader, Gillian Hughes (recovering from a recent operation) and to our secretary, Shirley Squires.


The Eucharist and AGM was attended by 20 members and the programme for the coming year was presented.
We enter this Triennial without a Branch Leader, planning to share the task among our committee members and other willing volunteers. Meanwhile Anne Stamper has agreed to be our lead contact and Rosemary Norris is our Secretary. Our next few meetings will see presentations on life in Malaysia, ethnic clothing, the work of Emmaus and a Lent talk from Revd Frank Fox Wilson.



ringmer mu
Ringmer MU welcomes visitors and new members.
You will find all of our dates in the Events Diary 












mirlees ward staffStaff of Mirlees Ward, Conquest Hospital, St Leonards on Sea, accepting hand knitted clothing for premature babies. 


On Saturday 19th September Eastbourne Family Contact Centre welcomed two local MPs, Huw Merriman for Bexhill and Battle who commented 

'I support fully the work which the dedicated Volunteers at the Eastbourne Family Contact Centre do for our community. It is heartbreaking for children and parents to lose contact with each other when relationships break down. The centre provides the supervision to permit a parent and child to spend precious time with each other. I was moved when speaking to the parents as to how much of a difference the centre has made to their lives. I hope others will consider using this vital service if faced with a loss of contact'.


Also present was Caroline Ansell for Eastbourne who commented ‘It was a privilege to visit the Eastbourne Family Contact Centre and get to meet the volunteers who do such a great job.

The work they do is unsung in many ways but vital in helping children stay in contact with their relatives through often difficult times. As I was leaving there was a special moment when I caught a glimpse of the delight on a child’s face as she ran towards her Father in that moment the proof was there of the need and value of such Centres. I look forward to working closely with them in the future’. 

Also present was Contact Centre Patron, Eastbourne District Family Judge, John Robinson who commented 'Thank you for providing, on a voluntary basis, a crucial facility to aid the family justice system in the Greater Eastbourne area'.

10 volunteers including Daphne, Chair of the Management Committee, were pleased to inform the MP's of the service they provide and to ask for their help in raising the profile of the CentreEFCC.
Group photo above – Right to left:
Chair of Management Committee, Daphne Burton,
in white top; Coordinator, Kathryn Anderson, in top with ‘MU’ badge; Caroline Ansell MP; Huw Merriman MP and Judge John Robinson surrounded by 8 of the Volunteers.
Group photo left – Left to right:
Kathryn Anderson, Caroline Ansell MP,
Huw Merriman MP and Daphne Burton.

Mayor of Eastbourne

Here is a photo of the Mayor of Eastbourne, Councillor Janet Cole, when she visited the Contact Centre on Saturday 20th June, at the end of Mothers' Union  Awareness Week. She did not know anything about the Centre and was very interested to become more informed. Unfortunately she could not come to the Celebration, having originally said yes. Her driver took several photos and has posted them on the Mayor's Facebook page.
Also pictured are Kathryn Anderson,
Co-ordinator, and Daphne Burton, Chairman of the Management Committee. 

Letter received from Mundri, South Sudan, click here to download
Awareness Week, June 13th - 19th


Wednesday 17th

Horsham branch visited Shoreham-by-Sea branch  where they enjoyed a guided tour of the Church of St Mary de Haura, Shoreham, as well as tea & the opportunity to catch up with old friends.




Monday 15th
Members from Hurstpierpoint Branch have "tidied up" their notice board.
Sunday 14th
Arriving at St Nicholas Church, Saltdean.

SaltdeanSaltdean tea
Ringmer Branch
Saturday 13th
waiting!Kathryn Anderson
Two cyclists, Kathryn Anderson and Susan Heads (Rochester Diocese) travelled around the East of the Diocese visiting 15 branches. St Mary's, Rye was the final one. Pictured left is the reception party (Canon David Frost Diocesan Chaplain and Rector of Rye, Diocesan President Chris Emson and behind the Rye banner, Brenda Snashall). Pictured right is one of the cyclists, Kathryn Anderson (Diocesan President elect) as she arrived outside the church.


Tea in a Brede garden
Spring Council 9th May
DP Chris EmsonArchdeacon of Horsham
The keynote speaker was the Venerable Fiona Windsor, Archdeacon of Horsham who spoke about her life and how she came to be an Archdeacon. 'Meeting people where they are' seems to have been her motto in life. 
Visit of the Bishop Of Nyahururu


Bishop Stephen of Nyahururu was appointed bishop in 2014 .A group of Mothers' Union members visited him when they travelled to Kenya in February 2014 where they also met his wife Mama Eunice.

Bishop Stephen was invited to attend a new Bishop's course in Canterbury in January 2015 and our Diocesan Oversea Council thought it would be a good opportunity to invite Mama Eunice to join her husband after his training for a two week holiday. Having travelled for 12 hours on her own for the first time Mama Eunice and Bishop Stephen were delivered to our Diocesan President's home on a very cold day straight from Heathrow. The heating was up full blast plus a gas fire and hot water bottles but still they felt cold! It took a few days for them to adjust; Bishop Steven had never seen snow or thick frost.

The Diocese has companion links in Kenya in Nakuru, Kericho and Nyahururu and also some in West Africa. These were set up in the 1960’s and whenever possible visits are exchanged.

Beckley School 1Chris took them to visit Beckley School where they made very welcome and were entertained by the children. Hopefully they will be able to establish a link with a school of similar ages soon. They visited Sussex Coast College and met up with Jude, the Family Support Worker.  They travelled to London, it was the first time they had travelled by train, and visited Mary Sumner House, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall, 10 Downing Street and  Trafalgar Square.


Horseguards ParadeThey were invited to lunch with Bishop Martin and later  toured the Cathedral. Later during the visit they stayed in Hurstpierpoint where the parish entertained them. Hurstpierpoint is the birth place of Bishop Hannington, a figure known to them, there is a school and  a lake named after him in Nyahururu. They spent time with the Bishop of Horsham and took part in the Ashing at Gatwick airport.  

It was a great opportunity to repay some of the hospitality that they had lavished on us when we visited in 2014 and we pray that we will be able to continue our link.  


Beckley School 2



The Headteacher of Beckley School, Bishop Steven and Mama Eunice



National Marriage Week

engagement rings blessing
These couples attended the 10.30 service at St Mary's Church, Rye, on Sunday 15th February to have their engagement rings blessed. This was part of a weekend when all eight couples participated in the Mothers' Union marriage preparation course 'Loving for Life'.
They will all be married in St Mary's before September this year. The service and blessing was conducted by the Rector of Rye and also MU Diocesan Chaplain, The Revd Canon David Frost (pictured with the couples). 
Ringmer Branch Admission Service
14th September 
Ringmer Church Ringmer Church
Six new members were admitted into the Mothers' Union by 
The Revd Canon Will Pratt, Vicar (now retired)
Rye Branch Outing
MinibusMothers' Union members of the Rye Branch gathered together on August 12th for an outing to Ashburnham Place (near Battle - 

After a walk around the grounds members met up for a cream tea in The Orangery


Group photo

Eastbourne Family Contact Centre

Katherine Anderson

Eastbourne Family Contact Centre has been managed by Mothers’ Union (MU) for the last ten years, taking over from the WRVS. Eastbourne Family Contact Centre is one of our Diocesan Projects and we are very grateful to our members who provide a lot of our financial support. In the last year we have gratefully received local donations from Rotary, Inner Wheel, Lions and Waitrose. Two members cycled from Rochester Cathedral to Chichester Cathedral completing 98 miles over the 2 days 24th and 25th May 2014, staying overnight in Cuckfield and calling in at 9 MU Branches on the way arriving in time for Evensong at 3.30pm in Chichester Cathedral despite being delayed an hour when Susan had a puncture on our way to Walberton! Sponsor money that has been  collected so far is £999 plus the gift aid. The money is going to be shared between the Contact Centre and MU projects in Kenya that Kathryn had the privilege to visit in February this year. The Management Team  decided this year to have a Focus Week on the Contact Centre from June 15th – Father’s Day - until Saturday 21st June. It began on 10th June at 3.40pm when I was given ten minutes live air time on Radio Sussex, over the telephone, on Allison Ferns’ programme to talk about the Contact Centre and the Focus Week. One of the  Volunteers, Val, wrote a special selection of prayers for the week and these were shared around the Diocese and read at Branch Meetings and in Churches. 

Louis Ruddlesden

On Tuesday 17th June a few members manned a stand raising the profile of the Contact Centre from 8am until 2.45pm in the Arndale Shopping Centre iEastbourne. 


Up until last year we had an annual AGM but on Thursday 19th June we decided to have a Celebration! as a climax to the week. This was an opportunity to reflect on the past year at the Contact Centre and thank God for His provision and look forward with anticipation to the year ahead. We invited and are very grateful to Louis Ruddlesden, Service Development Coordinator from NACCC, who was our guest speaker. He gave a very informative talk to a large and attentive audience about the training, online process (Eastbourne is onof the pilot centres) and future of NACCC’s work. The afternoon concluded with cream tea and cakes! The next day some members manned a stand in Langney Shopping Centre, just down the road from  St Luke’s, from 8.30am until 2.45pm. Finally on Saturday 21st June before the Contact session began we were visited by our Patron, local Family Judge, Judge John Robinson.


Celebration meeting

Judge John Robinson

Stand in Langney Shopping Centre



For photos of the Rochester to Chichester Cycle Ride click HERE


Prayer Shawl Blessing




Rev'd David Beal of St Mary's Church, West Chiltington with Jeannie Watten, Daphne Mabbitt and Estelle Warriner with 8 Prayer Shawls which were blessed on Sunday 23rd March 2014 

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Kenya
with Chris and Tessa is Grace, MU worker in Nakuru Diocese


 Alice, MU worker in Nyahururu Diocese, with Chris, Ruth and Bishop Stephen's wife, Eunice
 Emmy, MU worker in Kericho Diocese with Chris, Ruth and Bishop Joseph's wife, Esther
click HERE for a personal view 
of the pilgrimage

At the morning service on Sunday February 9th at Midhurst Parish Church the vicar, The Revd David Willis, enrolled five new members into the Mothers' Union.  They were all presented with membership cards and badges. The whole church welcomed them with loud applause. It was also National Marriage week which is strongly supported by the Mothers' Union so a wedding cake and champagne was enjoyed by the congregation after the service to mark this important event. It was a lovely occasion and those enrolled were prayed for in the intercessions during the service.
Midhurst Mothers' Union
Midhurst Mothers' Union

Prayer Shawls
The Prayer Shawl Ministry is the latest project at West Chiltington & Storrington Branch with four members and one
non-member forming the Group.
Pictured right are Estelle Warriner,
Daphne Mabbitt, Jeannie Watten and Joan Elkin with the Rector of St Mary's Church, Storrington, The Revd Malcolm Acheson.

hellingly christmas party 1
Hellingly Mothers' Union
Advent Party
1st December
hellingly christmas party 2
hellingly christmas party 3
A Marvellous Effort!
from students at Sussex Coast College, Hastings where the College Chaplain, Barbara Powell-Jones has a knitting group. The group have knitted teddies for the Contact Centre  ( a project run by Mothers' Union in Eastbourne). Some members of the group have only just learned to knit and so it was a marvellous effort.
Pictured: Diocesan President Chris Emson far right next to the Chaplain, Barbara Powell-Jones with members of the knitting group.

Uckfield Christmas Tree Festival
Pictured left: The tree decorated by members of the Uckfield Branch


Bexhill District Advent Quiet Day

The Quiet Day was designed to be suitable for people at various stages of their faith journey, to help people not only to deepen their relationship with God but also to discover more about themselves. Our vicar, Fr David, chose “Mosaics of Mercy” as the theme for the day.

The morning began with an opening worship, using a simple candle-lighting ritual. Two short talks suggested a way of developing a daily opportunity for personal reflection, and invited us to make sense of our experience, those things that draw or drive us, which can sometimes be hard. Our lives can seem like bits of broken pottery or coloured tiles – but reflection and focus can transform them into something beautiful for God. The reflection sheets offered us the opportunity to individually reflect on the way God’s presence, leading and influence, has been apparent in our life’s mosaic and how our life intersects with the lives of others around us, in the past and the present.

People were invited to remain in Church during their times of reflection, to use the prayer room or wander outside in the garden. There was also a range of art materials available in the hall to suit people who prefer visual responses, who like to use colour and drawing to express their journey with God, or who prefer some active options.

The mosaic theme was carried through to the afternoon Advent service as, interspersed with Advent songs and prayers, we looked at the Mothers Union Badge and The Advent Wreath as mosaics.

Thousands of tiny pieces of blue and gold funky foam were used to create a cross (a symbol of our faith and a reminder that Christ is at the centre of all we do in MU), a world map (a symbol of our worldwide organisation) and the MU lettering (a reminder that we are a circle of friends and family). These three pieces, put together, formed a mosaic of our MU badge.

Then, we were reminded of the symbolism of each component of the Advent Wreath. Using the world map as a base, everyone at the service was invited to help make up our mosaic, to add a piece of greenery, a fir cone, or a candle to make up our Advent Wreath. As with all mosaics, all the separate pieces, put together in the right context, become part of something special and enable us to see the whole picture.

 St Richards Branch, Langney

 Fundraising in Westham
During this year St Marys Westham Mothers' Union  raised enough money from a Garden Party at a members home, a  Coffee Morning, also at a members home,  plus bring and buys etc, to send: 
£300 to Overseas, £200 to Contact Centre, £150 to Wheels Appeal and £150 to AFIA.

Video clip of the banner procession at the Commissioning Service held at Chichester Cathedral
on Saturday 13th April 2013




Fun for all the family

Over 600 people flocked to the Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum near Lewes to join the Mothers’ Union for their fun day Trains, Cranes and Automobiles.

On a day spent dodging the showers families of all ages had fun exploring the woodland, watching the ducklings, riding on the train and enjoying the company of each other. The children enjoyed the adventure playground and splashing in the puddles caused by the recent rain.

The day concluded with everyone packing the marquees for a short service led by Diocesan Chaplain, Revd Peter Clark.

The day had a teddy bear theme so families had a special teddy trail to follow, had the opportunity to have a go on the teddy tombola and took their teddy on the train (which got them on half fare).

Chris Emson, Diocesan President said “The rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of everyone who joined in another fantastic Family Fun Day. We found Bentley to be a wonderful venue with lots for families to do together.  Thank you to everyone who worked very hard to make the day such a success”.

Janet braves the cold for Wheels Appeal

 Mothers' Union member and octogenarian Janet Webber has raised £750 for the Mothers' Union Wheels Appeal.
Janet, of Clifford Avenue Eastbourne, swam 50 lengths at the David Lloyd Club to raise cash for the appeal, which provides transport and help with repairs for Mothers' Union workers abroad.
Janet said, "They have to visit their members and help to set up small farming project or help families in trouble, often travelling hundreds of miles in very rough country and in all sort of conditions.
"I did my swim at the David Lloyd Club in rather cold conditions as their boiler had broken down. 
"Several other much younger women came in to the pool but only stayed for a few minutes while I did my promised 50 lengths which took me 45 minutes. I usually swim 30 to 40 lengths at the club twice a week." 
Janet has visited Mothers' Union workers in Kericho, a district in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya.
Well done Janet!
The Bailey Review 
Chris Emson and Daphne Burton were recently invited to the Houses of Parliament to represent the Diocese at a talk by Reg Bailey, Mothers' Union Chief Executive, on the Bailey Review.  Before going to the meeting Chris and Daphne met with Rosemary Kempsell, Worldwide President, at Mary Sumner House for tea.
Members at St. Richards enjoying a cream tea to raise funds for projects .
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