Jill Cannings, a Lay Minister from Uppingham, is the Diocesan President for Mothers’ Union. She shares her experience below of the recent visit to the Diocese of the Mothers’ Union Worldwide President, Sheran Harper.
It was a great joy to recently welcome our new Worldwide President, Sheran Harper, to the Diocese. Sheran comes from Guyana, and is a woman of great faith and experience. She has led the parenting programme for Mothers’ Union in many countries, and has thereby improved the experiences of countless children and families. She was accompanied on her visit by Mothers’ Union Provincial President, Nikki Sweatman.
At a packed open meeting in the Methodist church in Uppingham, people were able to hear from Sheran and Nikki about the work of Mothers’ Union in this country and worldwide. This Christian organization was started just over 140 years ago in a small Hampshire village, and now has four million members in 84 countries. Speaking at Sheran’s commissioning earlier this year, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described MU as “the world’s oldest and largest women’s movement. It is one of the Anglican Communion’s greatest gifts to the worldwide Church”.
During this brief whistle-stop tour of the Diocese, we were also able to join a prayer group (the backbone of the Church) as “prayer warriors” and pray for aspects of church life and our communities. Our visitors also heard about the role of the Mothers’ Union Lunch Club in Kettering which provides meals and activities for children during the holidays, who would normally receive free school meals.
We also held a service of thanksgiving and welcome at St Benedict’s Northampton – the church of our Mothers’ Union Chaplain Revd Canon Anne Davies – where more people had the opportunity to hear from Sheran and Nikki. They also attended a local branch meeting.
The final stop on the tour was a major Mothers’ Union ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ service at which we filled Coventry Cathedral. The service was also streamed across the world.