To mark Mary Sumner Day, members of Mothers Union from across the diocese came to Lichfield Cathedral to celebrate the movement's work and to witness the commissioning of new trustees and officers.
The Mothers' Union is an international Christian membership movement, which has been actively supporting families and communities in the UK and worldwide since 1876.
Banners were processed and the music for Choral Evensong was led by a choir of members coordinated and conducted by Marion Standing. Most of the practices had been in small groups with the complete choir only coming together for a final rehearsal just before the service. Music by Martin Shaw and Margaret Rizza was sung with the help of soloist Maryanne Standing and organist Cathy Lamb.
As part of her introduction to the service Sue Egerton, Diocesan President, spoke of the raised profile of Mothers Union through the presence of Sheran Harper, Worldwide President, at Junes General Synod.
Sheran spoke of the transformational work of MU both here and overseas, and of partnerships with other organisations including the Clewer Initiative helping to raise awareness of modern day slavery.
Sue was commissioned as Diocesan President by the Bishop of Stafford, the Rt Revd Geoff Annas, who also admitted Katherine May, Helen Palfrey, Celia Richardson and Deb Tudor as trustees along with Marion Standing and the Revd Preb Carl Ramsay as diocesan officers. Lessons were read by Paul Jervis, a member from Cheddleton branch, and the Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, with intercessions led by Carl, who is Diocesan Chaplain.
Bishop Geoff gave a stirring sermon encouraging all members to further the work of the fantastic organisation that is Mothers Union. As the service was being conducted on the surface of the moon he did ask if this would be the first extra - terrestrial meeting of Mothers Union!
The newly commissioned trustees are very grateful to the cathedral staff for their support and help in making the service such an inspiring and enjoyable event.
For more information about the work of Mothers Union email firstname.lastname@example.org