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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Autumn 2016 issue

Mothers’ Union at Lambeth Palace

Mothers’ Union is one of the greatest of women’s groups in the world affirms the Archbishop of Canterbury…

In a moving service in Lambeth Palace on St David’s Day, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Hon Justin Welby, affirmed the Worldwide President and the International Board of Trustees in their governance role for the international Christian membership charity.

Speaking on Psalm 6, The Archbishop said, “The Mothers’ Union in so many places is an organisation that listens to the voices of weeping. Whether it’s in Burundi, the Congo or South Sudan; whether it’s in homes in cities where when the local football team loses there is a 50 percent increase in domestic violence; whether it is in the loneliness of weeping by people who are not suffering physically but are spiritually empty and lost; it is the Mothers’ Union that exists in the vision of Mary Sumner to speak of those things that God has provided that bring hope, help and a future.” Central to this vision, he said, is “an extraordinary movement to support the family.”

“There has never been a time when the family was not a place that needed the light of Christ shining within it to become what God has called it to be. And you hold that treasure in your hands, and as we go to the reaffirmation that is part of the vision.”

He added: “But there is also such a need for global women’s groups. And you are among the most embedded, the most effective, the most widespread. There are few that can rival you - if any.”

Reflecting on United Nations research showing that no major civil conflict since 1945 has ended without the involvement of women’s groups, the Archbishop said the Mothers’ Union holds in its hands two aspects of “the most extraordinary treasure that God has brought together”.

“You are one of the greatest of women’s groups in the world, and you have the treasure of the gospel of reconciliation. What more could be needed to be transforming of the world in which we live?”

“So, Nine-tenths of your work is hidden in the parishes and the dioceses, in the hills and the villages  - doing the work of bringing hope and strengthening families, of supporting churches, of transforming communities.”

Mothers’ Union has been at the heart of reconciliation work in many countries in the past twenty years. In Rwanda Mothers’ Union came alongside people from all tribal groups to bring about community cohesion as people returned from conflict and promoting women in community leadership to help restore peace. In South Sudan, where conflict continues to tear communities apart, Mothers’ Union has the specific role of bringing reconciliation to communities as part of the Relief work of the Anglican Church of Sudan and South Sudan.

Through its community development groups, promoting literacy, good parenting and development potential, Mothers’ Union leaders enable communities to work together towards mutual understanding and using their own resources to break the cycle of dependency.