The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville
Visit of MU World Wide President
On Tuesday 19th April, Catherington branch hosted a visit to the Havant Deanery of Mrs Rosemary Kempsell, the World Wide President of the Mothers’ Union.
12 members of our branch attended and heard a very interesting talk of her travels abroad, and how the Mothers’ Union has grown in membership, particularly in the African countries, and this included many men.
Each branch in our Deanery had a table to display how we support the church and charities in our own area, ideas were exchanged. Tea and cakes were served to a crowded hall.
Mothers’ Union Diocesan Festival Eucharist at Portsmouth Cathedral, Wednesday 20th April.
Four members of Waterlooville MU attended the service at the Cathedral. I had been chosen to carry our branch banner -
We had a short “walk through” before the service, then as the first hymn was sung we processed behind the clergy, with banners from all the branches present. I had instructions to walk far enough behind the person in front so I could follow their feet, with the banner held as high as possible, and also look out for the chandeliers and other obstructions. I decided to “play safe” and not hold St George’s banner any higher than the one preceding and to peer around the side to check for obstacles. As we placed our banners against the walls as directed an alarm sounded -
The Eucharist service included a reading by Sheila King, Diocesan President, the gospel read by Rev Barry Smith (Diocesan Chaplain) and an address by Mrs Rosemary Kempsell, MU World Wide President. The Intercessions were led by Mrs Norma Gibney (MU Diocesan Vice-
The banner bearers collected their banners and formed a “line of honour” at the end of the service. We were all invited to a Lent Lunch of soup and rolls in Cathedral House, this had been prepared and served by members of the Cathedral Clergy, donations for this going to the Bishop’s Lent Appeal.
On 28th April fifteen ladies were present to enjoy a most interesting talk by Bishop Godfrey Ashby about his ministry in South Africa and the work of the Mothers’ Union there.
Bishop Godfrey left England in 1957 (returning for eight years to be Assistant Bishop of the Leicester Diocese) and returned to England finally in 2008.
He explained the significance of the Apartheid system, which ended in the 1990’s with great changes having taken place since then.
When he arrived in South Africa, Bishop Godfrey had first to learn a very complicated language (which included 3 clicks). He had to travel on his rounds on horseback (later modernised to a Toyota!) and sometimes sleep in church huts in the villages. The local MU would provide him with meals.
The MU, much respected, especially in the African Community, did Church work including visiting the sick, and preparing and taking part in the Sunday worship. The MU in South Africa is still a thriving and important part of the community today.
Festival Edition 2011