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September Letter from our Diocesan President
14 Sep 2020


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September Letter from our Diocesan President

14 Sep 2020

Dear Friends,
 
I hope you are all coping during these very challenging times. When I sent my last letter, I never envisaged how our lives would change so drastically.
 
I have been on a roller coaster journey with many up and downs. Back in July I had a health scare, needing surgery and am about to embark on the final stage of treatment. Prayer has been my support throughout this worrying and concerning time.
 
A big celebration now that Fiona is back in the office. It has been an ordeal trying to communicate with everyone – without access to the database – as information from MSH hasn’t stopped. Hopefully your Area Vice Presidents/Branch Leaders have kept you a bit up to date. My apologies to Diocesan Members/Area Members, who may have slipped through the net as I had no addresses etc. Normal service will now be resumed.
 
I do hope you all eventually received your ‘Families Worldwide’. What a marathon task that was but a learning experience for me – getting to know Branch Leaders and location of branches.
 
I will now endeavour to up date you on what’s happening :-
 
In Touch
 
Articles should be submitted by the beginning of October.  I would like to include articles on how the pandemic has affected you and your family, this could be just a photo. How have you coped? What has changed? Have you continued with meetings? Update on your branch activities including deaths etc. I think I could probably fill the whole magazine with my experiences but I won’t be selfish, so please send yours to me as soon as possible.
 
AFIA
 
MSH would like to support our key workers at the same time as testing out a new approach to working and using the current situation to raise both awareness and profile of Mothers Union and the AFIA programme. We want to combine the support for families to improve relationships, wellbeing and mental health with a real ‘thank you’ to lower paid key workers. Their intention is to provide experience days – experience day hamper or a family day out.
 
If you know anyone who would benefit please advise them to apply on line on the MU website.
 
 
Starting to meet.
 
Please refer to attached letter. I do hope that you are managing to get together somehow.
 
Domestic Abuse Bill
 
At a recent meeting of the Advocacy and Policy Community of Interest there were 2 ‘asks’.
To remove the ‘no recourse to public funding’ restriction for victims where their immigration status is unclear and to include faith as an important element, both in understanding causes of Domestic Abuse and the value of faith-based organisations in signposting survivors to appropriate support.
You will be receiving a template letter for you to forward to your local MP.
 
 
 
Prison Week 11th-17th October
 
I have requested leaflets which will be distributed either in hard copy or electronically. I have just begun dialogue again with Wormwoods Scrubs and Pentonville so hopefully we will be able to support them in some way.
 
Technology
 
I am way behind with my tech skills, but getting there. I had a hiccup today as I’d changed my WiFi details but printer didn’t recognise it, so wouldn’t respond to my instructions. Grateful thanks to my IT consultant (my daughter) who came and sorted it. I am sure there are many of you in the same boat – persevere- as I’m sure it’s not going to disappear quickly. I can now zoom and have ‘Team meetings’. I have logged into many services during the past months including funerals – a blessing.
The highlight must have been Mary Sumner Day, Winchester for the laying of the wreath on Mary Sumners  grave, Midday Prayers from Australia, service from Blackburn Diocese, message from WWP in Guyana and finishing with Compline from Barcelona. Evidence that we are truly a worldwide organisation. I also log in to midday prayers each day – sometimes not at 12 noon – but I catch up later. The comments again show that members are watching from all over the world.  A reminder that if you have not got access to computer midday prayers can be heard on the Daily Hope number 08008048044.
 
16 Days of Activism
 
This is an international campaign which takes place each year from 25th Nov until 10th Dec.
A set of resources are available on the MU website and hopefully will be in the next “In Touch”. Please download it and use it to increase awareness of this important issue. There will be a Global Day on the 5th Dec. This is centred around the disturbing figure that “1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced domestic or sexual abuse”.
 
Subscriptions 2021
 
You will all be aware of the difficult journey Mothers Union has experienced (as have many charities) with their finances. Hence the launch of the Emergency Appeal which was very successful. However it is necessary that our future is secured therefore they have increased subscriptions for 2021 to £20. This is much lower than many other national charities e.g RSPB - £72 pa, Women’s Institute - £43 pa, National Trust - £72 pa. We as a Diocese also need to continue our work and support of our members so we shall be adding £12 making a total of £32.00
Further details will be available soon when MSH send out a toolkit. Families First will include Families Worldwide and will be mailed to all members – this is included in the subscription.
 
It is very sad that in order to secure the financial future redundancies have had to be made at MSH – details not yet been publicised.
 
Rebuilding hope and confidence
 
This is our theme for next year recognising that the effects of the global pandemic will continue to be felt across the world throughout 2021. As people seek to come to terms with loss of all kinds, from bereavement to loss of livelihood, relationships, wellbeing and other challenges, our work of rebuilding hope and confidence will be vital.
 
I would like to use this opportunity to say thank you for all you have done during the past few months. It may have been in supporting the key workers with face masks, Scrubs and scrub bags, keeping in touch with members and the local community. Knitting many items, hearts, prayer squares, mask extensions. Please share with me what you have been doing so I can share with other Dioceses what we have been doing.
 
Our aim has got to be to increase membership so if we can share what we have achieved during Covid 19 hopefully we can achieve this. There will be challenges but we will continue. It is God’s work we are doing and he was the one who called each of us. He called us to be his hands and feet on earth to work his purpose out. My vision would be to see younger women answering the call to rise up and the older wiser women imparting knowledge.
 
Lord, help me to step out in faith today. Ready to use my energies for you. In hope. In confidence. With joy.
 
Love and prayers
 
Sue
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