Unfortunately our Speaker, Emerald McKnight, was unable to make it to the January meeting. However, Clare Stewart, our Branch leader, who is also the Diocesan Action and Outreach coordinator, took the opportunity to update members on the ongoing and upcoming work carried out by Mothers’ Union in the diocese.

She outlined the work Mothers’ Union members are involved in, such as raising funds for Worldwide projects, facilitating craft classes as part of the outreach to Hydebank; the purchase of books for the Read Together initiative in Hydebank; the donation of holdalls/suitcases for foreign national prisoners to use when flying back to their country of origin and donations for the purchase of material for the Hydebank Dignity Bag project; helping families under the Away From it All holidays (AFIA) Scheme; Members’ donations of filled soap bags for emergency admissions to hospital and donations of handknitted ‘Twiddle Muffs’ (see Clare for pattern) for the A&E departments.

She spoke also about the donations of hand knitted baby blankets, baby hats and cardigans for the neonatal units and outlined members’ support for the ongoing work at the Women’s Aid Refuge centres in Newry and Bangor. Clare also outlined projects planned for the future confirming that she will be asking for volunteers from across the Diocese to help with the cooking and serving of hot meals for children as part of the “Hungry Holidays” scheme in the Easter and Summer 2020 school holidays. She also spoke about the Days for Girls worldwide project and invited those who are interested to attend a workshop planned for later this year.

On 4th January we held our Ladies’ Quiet Morning. The theme was ‘Only one thing is needed…’ and it was led by one of our members and Diocesan Lay Reader Gillian Stevenson. Everyone really enjoyed the morning and it was lovely that so many of the ladies from the church joined us. We finished the morning with a celebration of Holy Communion in the church led by the Rector, Canon Jono Pierce.

Our next meeting will be the annual dinner which is in Belvoir Golf Club on Thursday 6th February 2020 at 7.30pm.

Anyone who needs transport to the dinner should contact me or one of the Committee members.

Carol Bell, Secretary