On Sunday 3rd November at the end of the 9.30 am Eucharist, three new members were admitted to our parish Mothers’ Union Group – Rev Ann Edwards, Gwen Siddens and Gwen’s daughter, Pamela. They were admitted by Rev. Canon Libby Crossman who is Zonal Trustee, Zone C South Pacific (Aotearoa, New Zealand Polynesia, Australia, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea). It was a lovely moment at the end of the commissioning when Pamela said that she was wearing her grandmother’s Mothers’ Union badge. It was also lovely to see Pamela’s young son, Elio, and Libby’s little great-nephew, William, at the front of the church for the commissioning service.
The Mothers’ Union was started in England in 1876 by Mary Sumner, the wife of a Church of England minister. There are now 4 million members in 84 different countries and the Mothers’ Union is the United Kingdom’s largest charity. In Australia the organisation is known as Anglican Mothers’ Union Australia. Once, only married mothers were admitted to the organisation but today many parents, men, widows, divorcees, singles and grandparents are involved in M.U.’s work which is “to bring about a world where God’s love is shown through prayer and loving, respectful and flourishing relationships.”
A Mothers’ Union Group was started at St Andrew’s, Indooroopilly, 61 years ago in 1959 and the group has been operating continuously since then. There are currently 17 members and the group meets once a month on a Friday for a Communion Service followed by morning tea, a short business meeting and, usually, a guest speaker. The current president of the group is Helen Zappala and she would happy to answer any queries you may have about Mothers’ Union.
The Rev. Libby Crossman and her husband, Rev Bill, are well-known to many of us at St Andrew’s and it was lovely to see them again on 3rd November. Rev Bill was a caring, hard-working locum in the parish for three months about three years ago after Fr Michael Chiplin retired and before Rev Sue was appointed priest-in-charge. Bill is very proud to be a male member of Mothers’ Union and wears his badge for all see! Internationally, the Mothers’ Union is led by a Worldwide Board of Trustees consisting of 12 members, including one man. All Trustees are volunteers and are elected from the membership. Each Trustee represents an area of the world where the Mothers’ Union is in operation. Libby is in her second term as a Trustee and she is Chair of the Safeguarding Committee and joint Board of Faith. She is devoted to her work and completely enthusiastic about the Mothers’ Union organisation. In her role as a Trustee she is required to travel to various parts of Australia and other areas of Zone C and she has to attend meetings of all the Trustees from time to time. This has resulted in many interesting experiences and in her meeting many wonderful M.U. members all over the world.
Best wishes to new members Ann, Gwen and Pamela, and we hope M.U. brings you wonderful, enriching experiences for many years to come.