St Augustine’s Church, Grove Park 336 Baring Road, SE12 0DX  Vicar: Rev. Gavin Berriman St Augustine's has an active Mothers' Union branch which meets monthly, generally on the first Wednesday in the month.

Mothers’ Union Branch Notes

April Meeting: The Mothers' Union meets on Wednesday 3rd April at 8 p.m. in the vestry. Althea Smith (Woolwich Area Trustee) will give a talk on this year's theme - MU Listening, Observing, Acting in step with God. Please try to attend to hear our visiting speaker. The meeting is open to all.

Mothers’ Union Worldwide President Commissioning Service

On 26th February Babs Florence and I were privileged to attend the Commissioning Service of the Mothers’ Union Worldwide President and Board of Trustees at our own Southwark Cathedral.  People had come from all around the world for this service to support Sheran Harper, who is the first Worldwide President to live outside of the UK in Guyana.  I wondered why the service was being held at Southwark and subsequently found out that Sheran had links with the Cathedral from when she lived in the UK and her husband, the West Indies test cricketer Roger Harper, played here.

Before the service, which was choral evensong, the Nostalgia Steel Band played.  Andrew Nunn, the Dean, who is a member of Mothers’ Union with an active branch at the Cathedral, welcomed everyone, including the High Commissioner and the Bishop of Guyana.

During the processional hymn ‘Praise to the Lord, the Almighty’ the choir led, followed by the Mothers’ Union banner, Sheran Harper and the Board of Trustees, the clergy, Dean, the Bishop of Southwark and the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Babs and I had a good view – we had blue tickets so although we were at the back it was where the procession began.  Readings were given by Bev Jullien, MU’s CEO and Bishop Christopher.  The music was beautiful and the anthem was ‘Let all the world’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, gave the sermon.  He spoke about how proud Mothers’ Union members should be.  Mothers’ Union is the oldest and largest women’s movement in the world, with over 4 million members in 84 countries, working to support families.  It is also one that people know little about – a great secret – and it was up to us to get ourselves known.  After the sermon he commissioned Sheran as the new Worldwide President and the Board of Trustees, made up of members from around the world.

After the final hymn and blessing the Nostalgia Steel Band played ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ while everyone processed out smiling and clapping.  It was a very uplifting service and Babs and I felt very proud to have been part of it.

Jean Cartwright

The Commissioning of the Southwark Diocesan President and Board of Trustees was held on 16th March at the MU Festival Service at the Cathedral, where Jennifer Davis was commissioned as a Trustee by Bishop Christopher.