New Mothers' Union local leadership commissioned
7 February 2019
The new Diocesan President and Trustee board for the Diocese of Norwich Mothers' Union was commissioned by the Bishop of Lynn at a special service in Norwich Cathedral last week. The Revd Andrew Whitehead was licensed as Diocesan Chaplain to Mothers' Union at the same service.
Bishop Jonathan asked the congregation and Mothers’ Union members “to pray that God will bless these his servants and add to them such gifts and powers as may be needed for their work.” In his sermon, he expressed thanks for those who are prepared to bear the burden and responsibility of leading but reminded everyone: “We’re all called to be part of this – growing in faith and in love for one another.”
The new Trustee board will serve for three years, overseeing and progressing the wide range of projects and prayer undertaken by Mothers’ Union locally.
Val Ovenden, the new Diocesan President has been a longstanding member of Mother’s Union, joining the Horning Branch when she moved to the area 18 years ago and later becoming a Diocesan Member. Before taking on her current role of Diocesan President, Val was both an Area Leader for Broadland and a General Trustee.
“Last year our members wrote on their ‘footprints’ of all they valued and had achieved in the past,” Val says. “At the start of our new triennium, we hope that all our members will feel involved in their various ways, as they explore the way forward ‘to listen, observe and act in Mary Sumner’s footsteps’”.
New Chaplain Andrew, who is also Vicar of Cawston, said: “I am in awe of the work done by the Mothers Union across the world! It is a fantastic example of living faith in action, and I’m delighted to be part of it. My mum is a past Diocesan President in the Blackburn Diocese and remains an active member there.”
Allie McClean is one of the new trustees. A working mother of three from Hethersett, her role is Unit Co-ordinator for Communications. “I hope to continue and build upon raising awareness of all the amazing work done by Mothers’ Union members across the Diocese. As an organisation, we can be a bit shy about being a member and what we do – we should all be proud to wear our badges and shout a bit more loudly about the different ways we support those who are facing difficult circumstances.”
As well as supporting work around the world and campaigning internationally and nationally for families’ and women’s wellbeing, Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Norwich runs a number of local projects. Away from it all holidays for families in need, Loving for Life marriage preparation workshops, Angel Tree gifts for children of prisoners, knitting hats for newborns in hospital, hosting monthly prayers at Norwich Cathedral and supporting Syrian refugee families by providing and making-up beds for their arrival are just a flavour of the work and volunteering that the almost 1,000 members undertake in their parishes and beyond.