In May 2019 it was a great joy to welcome Mrs Sheran Harper of Guyana who is our new worldwide president. She is a woman of great faith and experience. She has led the parenting programme for MU in many countries, and thereby improved the experiences of countless children and families. She was accompanied by Provincial President Nikki Sweatman.
Representatives from Peterborough Deanery, complete with banners joined Jill Cannings, Diocesan President to greet them at Peterborough station. They were touched as the welcoming party greeted them with a worship song.
At a packed open meeting in the Methodist church in Uppingham people were able to hear from Sheran and Nikki about the work of Mothers’ Union in this country and worldwide. Speaking at Sheran’s commissioning earlier that year Archbishop Justin Welby described MU as “the world’s oldest and largest women’s movement. It is one of the Anglican communion’s greatest gifts to the worldwide church.” Sheran was challenged by him to ensure that MU no longer remained the Anglican communion’s greatest secret. She spoke with passion about her own journey of involvement in MU and the work undertaken by members.
During this brief visit we were also able to join a prayer group, the backbone of the church, as “prayer warriors” pray for aspects of church life and our communities. Our visitors heard of the role of the MU lunch club in Kettering which gives a meal and activities for children during the holidays, who would normally receive free school meals. We held a service of thanksgiving and welcome at St Benedicts Northampton. More people had the opportunity to hear from Sheran and Nikki. As part of this whistle stop tour of the Diocese they attended a branch meeting in the evening. They were both generous with their time, listening to members and thanking them for their commitment to MU.
Two days later many of us attended a major Mothers’ Union “Thy Kingdom Come” service. We filled Coventry cathedral and the service was streamed across the world.