Mothers’ Union
23 of us attended our Opening Service at St Chad’s Church on Wednesday 26th September when members put ‘footsteps’ on a world map recognising the work the MU does and the links that we have. Four of us attended an inspiring Sharing Day on 25th September when Bev Jullien, MU’s Chief Executive, was the main speaker.

Our next meeting is on 28th November when Catherine Rae will talk about ‘Artistry in Glass’. Our hostess teams are Barbara Schofield’s and May Waterland’s and they will also be serving coffee on Tuesday 4th December at the Corporate Communion Service.

We congratulate Daphne Chandler on her recent 90th birthday.

Advance notice
We will be having our Christmas lunch at the North Euston Hotel Fleetwood again but please note that the date is different to our programme and will be on Wednesday 5th December. The cost of £22 will include the coach journey and the meal.

The theme for MU prayers for November is: In Mary Sumner’s footsteps- Peace and reconciliation and the Ministry of Reconciliation.
Ultimately, reconciliation is in God’s care. But the call on us to be reconcilers is inescapable. Bishop Andrew Proud

God reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. 2 Corinthians 5:18, 20

God of peace, and God of reconciliation, we ask for your peace and reconciliation to start with us today, that we may reach out to others
with love and compassion.

We draw near you, God of peace, with thanks for our reconciliation,
through the work of the cross. We offer ourselves as peacemakers
in a world that cries out for peace.

Help the leaders of the nations to seek peace and reconciliation with each other, and unite us as one family of God to your glory.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Eleanor Mancini, Mothers’ Union New Zealand
June Challis

Evening Mothers’ Union
Please note that our new meeting place is now in the Over 60s Hall next to Senior’s Fish and Chips on Queensway. We met on Tuesday 9th October when we were honoured with two speakers and two guide dogs. Seventeen of us met Jessie, a 7 month old dog, living with a family and being trained and Oakley a working guide dog.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 13th November when you should limber up for a quiz from Jill and we will also have a raffle.
Hostesses will be Pauline and Grace.

Advance notice
Our New Year meal will be on Tuesday 8th January at the Shard Riverside Inn. There is a list to make your choices and the cost will be £22.
June Challis

At the Diocesan MU Sharing Day that several of us attended recently, we learnt about the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign 2018. It is an international campaign and it takes place each year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

Throughout the campaign, Mothers’ Union joins with many others, globally, to raise awareness of, and call for an end to, gender-based violence in all forms and in all societies.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign is an extension of the day-to-day grassroots work of Mothers’ Union. We work alongside communities to help end gender-based violence and to support those affected by it, every day of the year.

There are many things that we can do to help advocate for an end to gender-based violence. No matter whereabouts in the world you live think about your local area and a local project – such as a refuge .Find out what support is lacking for their services, which you could then advocate for.

You can decide to go as high-level or as local as you like. So, it could be your local councillors, your government, or even your local church or community leaders.
HOW might you, or someone you know, be able to get in touch with them or meet them?
WHAT is the message that you want them to understand?
WHY should they do what you ask?
Below is one idea for Britain and Ireland which you could do during this year’s 16 days. Why not join with others in your local area and encourage them to do the same thing? There is strength in numbers!

A refuge is a safe house for women and children escaping domestic violence. The address is confidential and no men are allowed in the building.
“A refuge is much more than a safe roof over a woman or child’s head. Specialist staff can provide residents with the building blocks they need to begin a new life, free from fear. They help women and children to overcome the impacts of violence and abuse and offer a huge range of practical and emotional support. This might include support on housing, education, accessing benefits, employment, or immigration, or it might mean helping a woman to achieve better health and wellbeing”.

The Government is in the process of reviewing responses to its recent consultation on Domestic Abuse, with a view to publishing legislation on the issue. One key issue raised by Mothers’ Union members during the consultation was the limited provision available for survivors of abuse.

Find out how much they are spending and/or what they are doing to support those impacted by gender-based violence;
Ask them if they know how many women and children in their areas need accommodation but do not have it due to a lack of spaces;
Speak to your local refuge providers and ask them what they need.
You could also write to your MP to express concern about the closure of refuges and funding arrangements.

It is crucial that the Government commits sufficient, long-term funding for specialist services, refuges and outreach. And as more victims of abuse come forward, there will be even more need for increased availability and access to services.

In all the above, it is also encouraged to emphasise that working to prevent and end abuse in the first place needs to be an overall priority for leaders, and not solely adequately addressing the needs of survivors as a consequences of it.

  Mothers Union is an International organisation and this link will tell you more about the work they do.

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