Mothers’ Union

Pakefield Church’s Mothers’ Union meets from 2.00 – 3.30pm in the Church Hall on the third Thursday of each month. They are a friendly group of ladies (although men may also join). Some of them run the monthly Teddy Edward Club in church for babies and pre-school children and their parents. They also host and lead the Living for Life course that we run as part of our marriage preparation course. And two of them are the Diocesan organisers of AFIA (Away From It All) holidays for families who need a break but who can’t afford it. 


Mary Sumner Day is celebrated on the 9th August which this year was a Sunday, the evening service being led by Anne who used her talk to relate the life and vision of Mary Sumner with prayers and hymns taken from the Service of Celebration marking 140 years of the Mothers’ Union which was held in Winchester Cathedral in 2016.


Mary met and married George Sumner and dedicated her life at that time to raising their three children and supporting her husband’s ministry. As a grandmother after her their eldest daughter gave birth in 1876, she was reminded how difficult she had found motherhood and decided to invite local women to a meeting with the aim of bringing them together to offer mutual support. Out of this successful meeting came the beginnings of the Mothers’ Union movement.  For several  years, meetings were limited to Mary’s house but in 1885 the Bishop of Newcastle invited her to address the Women’s Churchgoers of the Portsmouth Church Congress where she gave an impassioned speech about the poor state of national morality and the need for women to use their vocation as mothers to change the nation for the better.   This resulted in several parishes starting their own branch which quickly spread throughout the country.

The Mothers’ Union Journal (now Families First) was launched in 1888 and annual meetings in various venues have been held since 1893 where members can be informed of events happening elsewhere.  By the time Mary died in 1921, aged 93, she had seen Mothers’ Union cross the seas and there are now over four million members worldwide in more than eighty countries, an international organisation of prayer and good purpose.  Mothers’ Union is now active in some of the most impoverished communities in the world and wherever there is work to be done, the aim is to bring hope and to build resistance to adversity from small community initiatives to national programmes by strengthening family life and nurturing relationships that are loving, faithful and respectful. The work is unique in that we work inside communities not alongside or with other charities, work that is run by local people for local people thus breaking the cycle of dependency and giving them courage to transform their lives and communities by bringing change.

You are invited – not to a masked ball – to a masked meeting/service to be held in church on the 17th September, 14.00 hours.  Rev Sharon has kindly ‘volunteered’ to give one of her talks after the service.


May I take this opportunity to thank you all so much for keeping myself and my family in your prayers, through what is and has been most of the most difficult times in my life. I wish to share with you some work Charley has been doing throughout July and August in memory, and as a tribute to his Grandma. Of course, along the way Faith has joined in and become his assistant!

Charley decided after seeing some charity work some of his cub friends were carrying out during lockdown, that he too would like to raise some money. He set himself a challenge to complete ’50 deeds in 30 days’ which we launched on what would have been my mum’s 64th birthday.

Along with his ‘assistant’ Faith, Charley carried out all 50 deeds, which we tried to keep varied. Cleaning cars, litter picking, weeding driveways, washing cars, helping in gardens, cleaning out the chickens at the rectory, baking cakes and taking treats round to friend’s houses. He also helped in the wider community with a morning down Kensington gardens, a morning with the Pakefield Church gardening group, and his 50th deed, washing a police car down at Lowestoft Police station.

In total Charley has raised £1834.45, this has been transferred into Euros and sent to a charity his Grandma regularly supported in her local community in Palm Mar, Tenerife, ‘HAPPY TO HELP’. The charity has been overwhelmed by Charley’s efforts, and so are we, in his words, ‘something really bad happened to my family, and this has just made me really happy.’

The charity have written to explain that 50% of the money will be used to house a family for three months, allowing a ten and fourteen year old to register with a school, and begin at the start of the new term. The other half of the money will be used to support their ‘back to school campaign’, purchasing uniform and equipment for disadvantaged children, allowing them to feel like their peers in their class. This campaign has been running for 5 years now, the charity did not think this would be the case in 2020 due to pennies being spent supporting families with food throughout the COVID 19 pandemic.

For those of you with access to social media please take a look at Charleys page ‘Charley’s 50 deeds in 30 days’

Thanks again Michelle (the editor)