4 support them in their children’s upbringing. Today, mothers can still feel isolated and inadequate in this role, but in 1876 mothers stayed at home and so the isolation could seem greater. These support groups grew over the next ten years, spreading locally, nationally and internationally, women were so eager to join. From such small beginnings grew the worldwide Mothers’ Union, its main objective being to sustain marriage and family life. The 9th August each year has been designated Mary Sumner Day in her honour. As it fell on a Sunday this year, we at St Mary’s Mothers’ Union were asked to play a major part in the main service. Our members read the lesson, led the intercessions, delivered the address and wrote the foreword to the pew-sheet. Supporting families Today the Mothers’ Union is still supporting families and has spread to 83 countries around the world, with a variety of projects to help good parenting and literacy. Its members fund workers especially in the Third World through overseas donations, and one of our members has made 50 ‘Cross in my Pockets’ to be sent to our link in Kagera, Africa. Our most recent project at St Mary’s was to raise money for the Away From It All Scheme, providing holidays for those who would not otherwise get away; our cream tea raised £200. A Student Cook Book was produced in our diocese and a copy is given to all new students at UCS. Parenting Courses are led by fully trained facilitators, and some members attend wedding fayres to advise on planning a church wedding. St Mary’s Mothers’ Union meets on the second Thursday of the month in St Mary’s Church Centre at 2.30pm, preceded three times a year by a service in church. Come along and see what we do and help us to be better known in the area, instead of being ‘one of the best kept secrets of the Christian Church’, as our former bishop once described us. Everyone welcome! Anne Wright Parish Pump A pat for Charlie Earlier this year, Charlie, the faithful Golden Retriever of Mary Parker, was accepted to work within a local care home for the charity ‘Pets As Therapy’, and the Standing Committee of the Parochial Church Council was pleased to invite him to become the PAT dog for St Mary’s.