Ride London 100, 31 July 2016

Kathryn Anderson is the Diocesan President in Chichester. She writes:

Here is news of my third weekend ride of 60 miles:

I have completed 60 miles this morning (24 July 2016), leaving at 6.15am - Beachy Head circuit first followed by Normans Bay circuit and this delicious breakfast alfresco at Ocean View Cafe in Pevensey Bay with 22 miles completed. After 20 minute stop I carried on, non-stop to Heathfield and back on the Cuckoo Trail. Total cycling time of 5 hours.

With only a week to go, it is recommended to have a quieter week of training, so I will do three 1 hour rides on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and two 70 length swims on Monday and Friday!

Please sponsor me to raise money for Mothers' Union. It is such a worthy cause. More information on my Just Giving Page: or text QCCL72 and amount in £ to 70070. Thank you.

For more information on the ride look at

The route:

Thank you for all your prayers and support. Let's hope the weather is dry and I persevere to complete all 100 miles!

Provincial President and Diocesan President and Trustee Board Commissioning Service 2016 at Canterbury Cathedral

What a wonderful day we had with everyone gathered together for the service of commissioning. The service included the Commissioning of the Provincial President Nikki Sweatman, along with the Canterbury Diocesan Trustees and their Diocesan President Marianna Poliszczuk. The service was presided over by the Bishop of Dover The Right Rev'd Trevor Willmott. In attendance was the Lord Mayor C'llr Sally Walters and The High Sheriff Mrs Kathrin Smallwood.

The girls choir sang at the service and nearly everyone involved was a Mothers' Union member.

The order of service can be found here.

The Trustee Board are commissioned with Marianna introducing them to Bishop Trevor - not that he needed introductions as he knows them all.

Nikki is commissioned. As someone said it was done properly!

Gathered outside with bells being rung (a quarter peal in our honour) - what a gift from the bell ringers. The official quarter peal record can be viewed here.

Right to left Marianna (Diocesan President in the Diocese of Canterbury), The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Felicity Hawke (past Provincial President), Nikki Sweatman (newly commissioned Provincial President) and Julia Pickles (Chaplain to the Bishop of Dover). All Mothers' Union members!

Mothers' Union Celebrations

Ann Howard, Rosie Stiven, Nikki Sweatman

There was so much to celebrate at the Mothers' Union Festival Service held in Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday 16 April. MU members and their families gathered together from all parts of the Diocese to celebrate the 140th Anniversary of Mothers' Union. We were delighted to see our Provincial President, Nikki Sweatman, and her husband, John, join us for the Festival Service.

MU branch banners were proudly paraded through the nave and the procession concluded with the Salisbury Diocesan banner being formally handed over by Ann Howard, our retiring President, to Rosie Stiven, our new President. Bishop Nicholas gave warm words of thanks to Ann in acknowledgement of her six successful years as President. As Ann was presented with her farewell gifts, the Cathedral was filled with applause.

Bishop with MU Officers

In his sermon, the Bishop spoke of our foundress, Mary Sumner. There was gratitude and thanksgiving for the 140 years of service dedicated to God's work by all those who had carried on the tasks which she had begun. Looking forward, the Bishop inspired and charged us to carry on God's work, whatever it may be and wherever it may lead. Encouraged by the Bishop's empowering words, our new team came forward to be officially received into their roles.

MU Salisbury Diocese was truly blessed last Saturday. We gave thanks for Mary Sumner and all that she began; we celebrated together the work that has been done and, with the words of our final hymn To God Be The Glory in our hearts, we went out, inspired and ready to grasp the work ahead in Jesus' name.

MU display A special MU Festival display was put up for the occasion in Salisbury Cathedral in St. Margaret's Chapel, in the South Transept.

Commissioning Day for Diocese of Chichester 2 April 2016

ploughman's lunch

What a wonderful day it has been today! Our Diocesan Festival Service and Commissioning of Officers for 2016-2019 at Chichester Cathedral at 2.30pm. First we enjoyed a ploughman's lunch at noon, prepared by Chris, the former Diocesan President, and her helpers from Rye, hosted by St Paul's Church, near the Cathedral. Thank you to Heather and members of St Paul's for their hospitality on a lovely sunny day. At the Cathedral around 300 Mothers' Union members and guests were gathered from across East and West Sussex for my Commissioning and that of the Trustees, Diocesan Chaplain, Diocesan Secretary and Diocesan Treasurer - my husband, Andy!

with the bishop

I was thrilled to be supported by all the members and my family - son George, daughter Elizabeth, my Mum and Mother-in-law, Vicar Robert and his wife Marian from my home Church of All Saints' Eastbourne, Father Tom and his wife Fiona from my home Branch of St Mary's, Old Town, Eastbourne, Provincial President Nikki, Diocesan President Elizabeth from Portsmouth Diocese, Former Diocesan Presidents of Chichester Chris, Mary and Margaret, Director of Family Support Work Martin, Church Army Officer Graham, Union of Catholic Mothers Joan and Janet, friends from Eastbourne and Dorking and both HM Lord-Lieutenants of East and West Sussex and Vice Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex!


Grateful thanks are due to Bishop Nicholas of Blackburn who presided and preached, accompanied by his wife Christine.

A 30 strong Mothers' Union choir sang four worship songs beautifully during the Eucharist. I read the first lesson from Acts 4:13-21 from the pulpit. Thank you to Head Verger Howard and his team and other Cathedral Staff for overseeing the whole Service.

Chichester Banner

Thank you to all of those who prayed for us today and thank you for all your loving best wishes. I was very moved by the whole occasion!


Mapping the Future 2015

This year I set up three meetings: one in London, one in the east of the province - Leicestershire, and one in the west - Devon. The one in London was on a Saturday, the other two were residential weekends. They shared roughly the same agenda:

In all, 59 people came, along with Lynne, staff, trustees and local Diocesan Presidents, ranging in age from 30s to 60s. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Words like inspiration, enthusiasm, hope were common. People gained information and clarification, confidence to challenge existing structures and start their own version of Mothers' Union, and fresh ideas for projects and ways to reach families. Some stood for election to central committees as a result.

Some interesting information and challenges have come out already:

Felicity Hawke, Provincial President Canterbury

Mapping the Future 2015 - some feedback so far

Best bits:

Could be better:

Things I've learnt and things I'll take away with me:

Bubble prayers! Dinner time at Launde Abbey
Exploring faith resources How I might use my gifts and talents for MU
Lynne and Felicity with Sally Sharing ideas about MU in the future
Waiting for dinner Members from Norwich Diocese at Southwark Mapping the Future day
Looking at members' stories from around the world Made in the image of God
Making a Cross in my Pocket Where do you come from
Full group at Torquay Exploring body image
Making crosses Worldwide table

Pictures from Provincial Conference 2014

Re-Commissioning of Provincial President, 27 April 2013

A copy of the service can be viewed here.

The Dean's sermon can be viewed here.