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It was a very special day when our Worldwide President, Sheran Harper arrived in our Diocese.  What a privilege to be included in her visit to the United Kingdom. Kathleen, our Diocesan President and Trustee, Beryl Wilson met Sheran and June Houghton, the Provincial President at Durham station.  Janice Hardman met Cath Hutton, the Zonal President at the Park and Ride.  Despite a time limit the Trustees managed to give our visitors a flavour of all the projects that our members are supporting both here and worldwide. The ongoing conversations highlighted all the activities that are going on in our branches and their communities.

We began with a visit to Low Newton Prison where we were welcomed by Deputy Governor Warrener and the Chaplain, Revd Sarah Parkinson.  A short introduction to the Prison was given.  We began with worship led by Sheran and the songs were chosen by the residents.  A prayer written by a resident was read and then presented to Sheran.  Sheran spoke to the residents with warmth and kindness.  Her gentle manner was admirable.  All who were present felt the love in the Chapel.  Low Newton branch is a prayerful expression of Mothers’Union. The residents were delighted to have their photograph taken with the Worldwide President and they were so eager to speak to Sheran and she to them that we had to rush on to our next venue.

We couldn’t bring such an important visitor to our Diocese without visiting the Cathedral. All of the Trustees joined our visitors for lunch and we were pleased that Canon Hampel was eager  to meet Sheran. He was unable to share lunch with us but he took time to speak to all of us around the table. Hospitality is one of Mothers’Union’s strengths. 

The time was creeping on and a tour of the important features of the Cathedral was possible before we moved on to our next venue.  We visited the Gregory chapel where a  Mothers’Union group meets  monthly for prayer.  Candles were lit, quietness and prayers were led by our World Wide President, who was in awe of the Cathedral and our splendid Diocesan Banner. 

One of our newer and growing projects is A13 at Gilesgate on the outskirts of Durham.  You will have read of this initiative supporting homeless girls who are pregnant.  We met the manager of this complex and she gave us an overview of how the young girls are supported in raising their babies. One of the young girls invited us into her flat. It was warm and cosy. A homely place to raise a child.  Where would these girls be if this initiative wasn’t available.  Sheran was delighted to see how Mothers’Union members are supporting these young mothers with baby clothes and household goods.

The clock was against us and there was only time for a cup of tea before our  visitors had to leave.  Sheran, Jill and Cath had enough time to share their delight in visiting Durham and how appreciative they were for all the work being done in the name of Mothers’Union.  They witnessed a Diocese with grassroots support bringing hope to those in need.

A wonderful day.  A prestigious honour for the Diocese.  An acknowledgment to all members for their commitment to Mothers’Union.


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