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MU and me: Memories of support and encouragement

April 29th, 2022

As Mothers’ Union groups across the Diocese begin to meet again, some MU members are offering encouraging stories about why and how they joined. Here, Rev’d Judith Lake shares her story.

During a recent conversation with Maryann Ashton, I shared with her some thoughts about my time as a member of Mother’s Union. She asked me if I would write about it.

More recently, at our Lady Day Service at the Cathedral on 25 March, The Rev’d Liam Matthews shared with us some of his memories of MU members who had made an impact on his life, then related this back to the gospel reading of the day. Thank you, Liam – listening to you opened the door to memories of the women of MU who had been significant in my life over my 30 years of MU membership.

Following separation and divorce, and with two primary-aged children, I moved into our new home. Close to my parents, the children and I attended our local Anglican Church, which happened to be the church where I had been confirmed and married. This was a time when I was struggling with my own faith, let alone trying to encourage two young children in theirs.

One Sunday, the priest at the church asked, “Judith, would you like to join the MU group? We have two groups – a morning group and an evening one.” I joined the morning group, which was a group of older women. This small group of eight women loved me and my two children back into the life of the church, and into what was to be and continues to be an amazing journey of faith in our Anglican tradition.

MU has a long history, with aims and objects that are as important in life today as they were when Mary Sumner spoke to the first group of women in 1876. Families and how we view them have changed over time. However, support, encouragement and love are still needed in our communities today, especially with families. MU is also concerned with promoting conditions in our communities that support stable family life.

Within my time as an MU member, I have had the opportunity to be involved in MU in a variety of ways. MU members supported and encouraged me to embrace positions within MU I never thought I could do.

Here in 2022, does MU have a future? Yes! D e f i n i t e l y ! What does it look like? That I am not sure about. However, as long as we have parents, children and families who need care, support and encouragement in the Christian faith there will be a need for MU. There will be a need for MU members united and living out the aims and objects in MU. I hope to continue to work with others within MU and the wider community.

Thank you to all MU members along the way who have shared their stories, and supported and encouraged me.