Annual report 2015

    2015 MU Report for AGM

This year our theme has been “United in Prayer”.

In January, we heard Linda and Nigel Taylor speak about “Emseni” in South Africa and their work there. Also, Patsy Glazebrook gave us details of the work of The Sick Children’s Trust in Addenbrookes.

In February, Canon Pam Reed led us in a Lent Meditation and Kay Coe gave a slide show related to The Women’s World Day of Prayer service, prepared by the women of The Bahamas.

In March, we held our WWDP service on the theme “ Do You Know What I Have Done To You” John 13: 1-17. Romie Ridley spoke to us about “Prayer” and Marga-ret Clark related “The Life Story of Dorothy L Sayers”. MU members played a large part in the Mothering Sunday service at St Andrew’s and we supported the “Make a Mother’s Day” campaign. Some members attended a Diocesan Quiet Day in Ely. Members also visited an exhibition of Ecclesiastical Embroidery in Ely Cathedral, followed by lunch at The Almonry.

In April, we held a “Thank you and Farewell” evening for John and Jenny Pinder.

Some members attended a Diocesan Day at St Peter’s in March.  We also held a very successful Coffee Morning at Denise Craney’s home. A total of £118 for MU projects was raised.

In May, MU members played a significant part in the Flower and Music Festival at St Andrews, the proceeds of which went to the Sick Children’s Trust at Ad-denbrookes. Sue Claydon came to speak to us about her work in South Sudan and some members visited Ely Cathedral to take part in MU Thursday Prayers, held every month under the guidance of the various MU Units.

In June, Joy Barnes spoke about “The Life of Chiara Lubich”;   several members at-tended the MU AGM in Nottingham. We ran a cake and preserves stall at the 1940’s themed Village Weekend and raised £98.80 for MU projects. The 125th An-niversary Ely Diocesan Garden Party was held in the Bishop’s Garden, also in June.   Several of our members attended and it was a most enjoyable occasion. The Branch also supported the Teddy Jumping competition (for Christian Aid), when their Branch teddy (Gladly -my cross-eyed bear) bravely jumped from the tower of St Andrews on 14th June.

In July, we held our Annual Branch Garden Party, at Philippa’s house, to which members of Milton MU were invited. £60 was raised by donations for MU projects at this event.

We celebrated Mary Sumner Day in August, with coffee, cakes and prayers at Mary Cooper’s home. Penny Godfrey, our Joint Branch Leader, was presented with leav-ing gifts of vouchers and a copy of the MU Book of Inspiration.

Reverend Monica Cameron, Curate at Gt Shelford Church, was the speaker at our annual September service in St Andrew’s and later in the month Keith Craney en-lightened us about “Unitarianism”.

In October, Milton MU invited us to Supper with them; there was another Diocesan Day – this time at Milton, and Kay Coe spoke to our Evening Meeting about “Path-ways of Pilgrimage”. Valerie Powell hosted a very successful and enjoyable MU Coffee morning at her home, raising £113 for MU work.

In November, there was a Diocesan Quiet Day at Milton, which several members attended.  Dr. Janet Soskice spoke to our Evening Meeting about “Sisters of Sinai” and Ros Wright explained the origins of some of our Christmas Customs. Hilary Street attended a Trustees’ Commissioning Service at Ely Cathedral and carried our Branch Banner, at which Bishop David gave a sermon on ‘The Teapot’ (now up on our section of the St Andrews website)

This month, we had the customary Cakes Preserves Jams and Chutney stall at the Nachingwea Christmas Fair, raising over £350 for Education in South Tanzania. December 10th is our AGM and Christmas Social. We  welcome Simon and Lizzie Taylor, our new Parish Priest and his wife, to join us in our celebrations. On De-cember 11th we will hold a “Wave of Prayer” service at Mary Cooper’s home at 12.00pm. It is hoped some of our members will be able to attend the MU Advent Carol Service at Balsham on December 15th. We have supported the” Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” by collecting toiletries for the Women’s Refuge in Cambridge, and had a wonderful response.

Sadly, we lost Freda Jones and Githa Challis in 2015 – faithful MU members who are greatly missed. We have a special Bible bought by money donated by their families to use at our meetings.

Penny Godfrey, an energetic MU Committee member left the village to live in Here-fordshire. We miss her very much.

During the earlier part of the year, members knitted for the Premature Baby Unit at The Rosie. This has now stopped as, happily, they have a good reserve of items.

Our members continue to say Evensong weekly at St Andrew’s.

Hilary Street keeps the MU News up to date on the Church web-site as well as working as Fund Raising and Communications Unit Coordinator for the Diocese (although retiring after 9 years on the Trustee Board at the end of December) and is

named as the MU contact in The Stapleford Messenger. Another Stapleford mem-ber, Suzanne Watt, who has run the Away From It All holiday scheme in the Dio-cese is also retiring at the same time – in addition, Penny Godfrey was Archdea-conry Vice President , so during the year Stapleford continued to be well-repre-sented at Diocesan level.

Joy Barnes writes the monthly MU News for the Stapleford Messenger and Audrey Bower distributes Baptism cards; June Doggett continues to send cards for Birth-days, Anniversaries and the like.

All committee members have worked to produce an interesting and varied pro-gramme of events and we thank all of them for their efforts. We look forward to an-other motivating year in 2016. The Committee, for its part, would like to thank all members for their continuing support of events and meetings, and also the cake stalls and Coffee Mornings.

All of our meetings and events have shown that we are “United in Prayer”- next year’s theme is ‘A Celebration of Faith’ and will also be the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Mothers’ Union – so there will be several exciting events to look for-ward to, to mark this momentous anniversary.

Joy Barnes 7/12/2015