Diocese of Portsmouth

    Mothers’ Union members show care for parents

    16 Oct. 2020

    PARENTS dropping their children off for their first day at two local C of E schools were given a lovely surprise.

    Members of the local branches of the Mothers’ Union presented parents and carers dropping off their four-year-olds at Wickham C of E Primary School and St John’s C of E Primary School, Waltham Chase, for the first time this September with ‘Bags of Love’. 

    The bags included some treats and goodies to help them with the emotion of the big day. Each included a greeting, a packet of tissues, a bar of chocolate, a tea bag and a prayer card as well as a posy of flowers.

    It was at the national conference of the Mothers’ Union held in Portsmouth in September 2019 that those from the Wickham and Sheffield branches heard about the concept for the first time. It was an initiative started by MU members in the Diocese of Liverpool.

    Members of the Wickham and Shedfield branches decided at their AGMs that they’d like to do something similar. Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, a few members from each branch got together to organise the project, and many more gave practical help.

    They stood outside Wickham C of E Primary on September 7 and 8, and outside St John’s C of E Primary on September 14. A total of 70 bags were given away, 36 at St John's, and 34 at Wickham Primary.

    The contents of one of the Bags of Love
    Putting together the Bags of Love
    The Revs Jane Isaac and Ruth Howlett-Shipley prepare to give away Bags of Love

    Mothers’ Union member Sabrina Gwynn said: “It was an emotional experience for all of us. The parents were surprised and grateful for the thoughtfulness of the unexpected gift, and we were delighted at their happy response.

    “We are grateful to the headteachers of both schools for engaging with us in this project and to the ministry team in the benefice for their encouragement and support. Later responses on social media, from both parents and the wider community, proved what a worthwhile undertaking this had been. We are all agreed that ‘Bags of Love’ will be repeated.”

    And one of the mums, Jo, said: “I was one of the mums who received one of your wonderful ‘Bags of Love’ this morning. What a fabulous and thoughtful idea. Thank you very much! It made my day and made such a difference to how I was feeling when I dropped our youngest off for her first day at school.”

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