We meet on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 2.15pm in church. We begin with a short service followed by a talk from a variety of speakers, as detailed below. Then a cup of tea and biscuits to end the afternoon. We are always pleased to welcome visitors or new members.
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We are working with people of all faiths and none in 83 countries to promote stable marriage, family life and the protection of children through praying, enabling and campaigning. We support families and communities both in the UK and around the world. Since 1876, when Mary Sumner first brought together parents in her own parish to build their confidence in bringing up their children in the Christian faith, Mothers’ Union has grown to over 4 million members worldwide. Our members work around the world bringing hope and practical support to millions of people every year through our parenting, literacy and community development programmes and as part of the volunteer base of local churches.
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The Beginning of the Mothers’ Union in Kesgrave – 1931
Extract from the Church Magazine – January 1931
The Church Women’s Meeting
The first of the New Year (1931) Entertainments was that of the Church Women’s Meeting, which was held on New Years Day. It was a very lively proceeding and, as is so often the case, proved very plainly that ‘Older Folk’ can enjoy themselves as much as younger ones, and a good thing too!
We ha d a pretty substantial tea, and did good justice to it, and afterwards we played every manner of games, all the old ones, and a good many new ones too, and then, after Good New Year wishes all round and the National Anthem, we all departed for home pleased with ourselves and everyone else, feeling that we had begun the New Year happily and well.
Extract from the Church Magazine – January 1931
Proposed Branch of the Mothers’ Union.
On 9th December 1930 notwithstanding very foggy weather, there was a good meeting of Church women to meet Mrs Fletcher of Ipswich, who gave a most admirable address on ‘The Work of the Mothers’ Union’, with the result that there was a unanimous wish on the part of the meeting that a Branch should be started in Kesgrave as soon as possible and, provisionally, Mrs Wontner (the Vicar’s sister) consented to become ‘Enrolling Member’, with Mrs Gifford and Mrs Smith-Fielding as Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer. Another meeting will be held in about six weeks’ time, to go further with the scheme, of which due notice will be given.
We are asked to say that the formation of a Branch of the MU will make no difference to the ‘Church Women’s Meetings’ which have now been held for some years. These will go on just the same as before, and although, naturally, many members of one will also become members of the other, it does not follow that they will do so, nor will it be expected that membership of one is conditional on membership of the other.
Extract from the Vicar’s letter (Rev Sewell Wontner) in the Church Magazine – March 1931
” I am very glad to have been able to arrange with Canon J W B Page, who will be preaching in our Church on the morning of Sunday 15th March, to remain with us for the afternoon on that day, and to give the Address at the Enrollment and Administration Service of the Mothers’ Union’ at 3 o’clock. I feel certain there is no one who would be more appreciated on such an occasion”.
Extract from Church Magazine – April 1931
Formation of a Branch of Mothers’ Union.
On Sunday 15th March (Mothering Sunday) the members of the new Kesgrave Branch were admitted to membership at a Special Service in the Church at which there was an excellent attendance of women.
The Service was most impressive, the members being admitted by the Vicar, who afterwards welcomed to the Branch several members of the Mothers’ Union who had belonged to other Branches before coming to live in Kesgrave.
A very moving Address was given by th rural Dean (Canon J W B Page) and at the conclusion of the Service the members adjourned to the Vicarage for tea and to make the acquaintance of the Deanery Hon Secretary (Mrs Davis of Tuddenham) who had previously attended the Service. It was a matter of great regret that Mrs Fletcher of Ipswich who had been present some months previously and the first Meeting in connection with the formation of the Branch to explain the purpose and objects of the Mothers’ Union was unable to come to the Service in consequence of illness, but it is hoped that she will be able to visit the Branch again in the very near future.
It is very satisfactory to know that in addition to those admitted already, there are quite a good number of future members who have asked to join and have received their preliminary cards, and will be admitted at the next Service in a few weeks’ time.
Extract from the Vicar’s letter in the same magazine – April 1931
I think that of all the movements we have made in Kesgrave, and the various organisations we have formed, I have never felt more hopeful of any thank I did of the Branch of the Mothers’ Union at the inaugural service the other day.
Canon Page seemed to strike exactly the note when he pointed out the tremendous possibility which might result from such a body of Church Women all exercising an influence which was very far reaching and affecting many a family and home.
I am very glad that this Branch has been formed, and I feel sure that it will proved to be of very great help and value in the time which is to come. May the Blessing of God be upon all its members now and for always.
The Mothers’ Union was then firmly established and there now follows a couple of snippets from later Church Magazines:
From August 1932
Mothers’ Union Party
On Wednesday 6th July the members of the local branch of the Mothers’ Union were invite to tea at the Vicarage. After attending the usual short Office at the Church, the members went to the Vicarage and played garden games until tea time. There was Clock Golf, Peg Quoits, Potting the Marbles and Potting the Tennis Balls, and all these provided plenty of opportunity for amusement.
Tea was served in the garden as the afternoon was gloriously warm. Before the members left, prizes were given to the winners of the games, and strawberries and cream were handed round. It was a happy party and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.
From August 1933
The Mothers’ Union
On Sunday 16th July there was an excellent attendance at the Special Service for Women at 3 o’clock after which, as usual tea was provided at the Vicarage, which was particularly acceptable on a hot, thundery afternoon.
At the close of tea, Mrs Fison, on behalf of the women, made a presentation to Miss Wontner as a mark of their appreciation of her work in the parish. In an amusing little speech Mrs Fison pointed out the help Miss Wontner had given to many of them, expressing their gratitude for all Miss Wontner had done. Miss Wontner in accepting a beautiful fitted attache case, remarked how much she had enjoyed her work among them, and hoped that the Church Women of Kesgrave had much happiness in store, and would long maintain their branch of the Mothers’ Union.