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7-14th February ~ National Marriage Week

Rye & District Branch created this lovely display all about royal wedding bouquets to celebrate National Marriage Week

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nmw rye

nmw rye

nmw rye

December 2nd

advent3The annual Advent Party took place on the 2nd December 2018  for children baptised at Hellingly and Upper Dicker Church. The children took part in a short service and songs  led by The Revd Des Burton (retired), there were bubble prayers and  the children put a wish for the year on a decoration and hung it on the Christmas tree. The afternoon was rounded off by 'pass the parcel' and a tea. Another retired clergyman, The Revd Chris Macdonald also attended.


4-5th September

studentsdisplayOn Tuesday and Wednesday, the 4th and 5th of September, a Mothers’ Union team from Chichester District set up our stall at the Freshers’ Fair at Chichester College.  The young people we met were polite and grateful, both for the cook book and the cake.  We were able to chat to them and to many of the other stall holders. The students came from all around the world, from Japan, from Malaysia and many European countries and they were studying a huge range of subject from hairdressing and dance to theology and psychology.  There were people running other stalls doing wonderful work in our broken society; I never dreamed that in our rich country there are women and girls too poor to buy sanitary products, so Red Box is supplying them.  I felt inspired by many that I met and so proud to be part of Mothers’ Union in the midst of them.
September 2-5 Clergy Conference at University of Kent, Canterbury

conferenceWe were invited for the first time to have a stand at the clergy conference this year. There were over 300 delegates, some were old friends, others came over for a chat. It was a nice relaxed venue and the clergy were very friendly. We handed out pamphlets, explained about AFIA  and the Ministry of cake (that is what they were most interested in).  We hope we made a good impression. As usual there were some who had never heard of us. 

Pictured are Chris Emson and Brenda Snashall at the stand.

August 11th

Gordon & Mary SmithHomemade cakes!For the last twenty odd years Gordon & Mary Smith of Eastbourne (pictured left) have held a coffee morning in their lovely garden to raise funds for MU projects. During that time they have raised over £7,000! Sadly, they have decided that it is time to stop so the last one took place on Saturday 11th August. As a mark of gratitude Anne Eastbury, Eastbourne St Mary's branch leader, presented them with a white orchid.
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At the end of these photographs are two short interviews where Janet Webber interviews Mary & Gordon about the coffee mornings.

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The raffleview from above

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.
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ringmer 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

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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.
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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.