Mothers' Union

Last edited by webmaster on 12 May 2018 - 11:17pm

Branch Secretary is Carole Elliott of 88 Portree Drive, Holmes Chapel;
tel: 01477 533882

Branch Treasurer is Dorothy Wood of 1 Furness Close, Holmes Chapel; tel: 01477 533704

If you are interested in joining the MU please just turn up for a meeting or ring Carole or Dorothy - we are a friendly group and will be delighted to welcome you.

We meet in the Church Hall monthly on the 2nd Tuesday evening at 7.45pm and the 3rd Wednesday afternoon at 2.00pm

For more about our Branch click here

Our Next Meetings in the Church Hall: 

Wednesday 16th May and our speaker will be Peter Cotton who will speak about St. Luke's


Tuesday June 5th (note one week earlier than usual) at 7.30 in the Church hall when both groups will meet for our annual Strawberry Supper in aid of Summer of Hope

Reports (Jan 2016 onwards: Dec 2013-Dec 2015 available here)

8th May 2018 - meeting with James Pullé

This evening we had the pleasure of James Pullé coming to talk to us about his interest in Department Stores. We had previously given him a list of the places where we had lived in our younger days so he had something to work on. We were even able to persuade some of the menfolk and other visitors to attend this meeting.

James explained to us that Fortnum and Mason was in fact the first department store and was opened up in 1707, and has produced the longest constant retail activity. These were followed by Harrods, Kendal, Milne and Faulkner, and Jenners of Edinburgh in 1838. These were all outcomes of the Industrial Revolution, providing urbanisation and easy transport.

As soon as he put up photos on the screen someone recognised the store, whether it was David Morgan in Cardiff, Dingles in Plymouth, Blacklers in Liverpool or Griffin and Spalding in Nottingham. We all had stories to tell. Closer to home were memories of Lewis's and Kendal Milne in Manchester. Who knew there was a ballroom on the fifth floor of Lewis's? (Except of course, like Derek Copley, you worked there).

Although many department stores have since closed down we have to recognise that there is now a different kind of ‘department store' in the guise of such places as Bents Garden centre, which provides and sells everything, and a little closer to home, Hollies Farm Shop.

Thank you, James, for a very enjoyable evening.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday June 5th (note one week earlier than usual) at 7.30 in the Church hall when both groups will meet for our annual Strawberry Supper in aid of Summer of Hope. Our Deanery groups and Partners will join us for this evening. If you can provide a cake for this event we would be very grateful.

Also we will be having a cake stall on Sunday June 3rd after the Morning Service in the Church Hall. Again a donation of cakes would be gratefully received.


18th April 2018 - meeting with George Martin

We were delighted to welcome Mr.George Martin to our meeting who gave us a fascinating talk about his interest in butterflies.

George is closely involved with the Butterfly Conservation who have had such eminent past presidents including Sir David Attenborough, Alan Titmarsh and Chris Packman. The conservation works hard to encourage natural areas to be dedicated to allow butterflies to flourish Locally, The Lion Salt Works has created an area to manage butterflies. A Butterfly Garden has been built with free parking. This is well worth visiting.

We all knew something about butterflies, but we learnt so much more today. One interesting fact was that butterflies need a temperature of 13 degrees before they will fly. There are 33 different species of butterflies common to Cheshire although global warming is beginning to bring more species further north . Plants and flowers such as buddleia, verbena, sedum, lavender, dahlias, wallflowers, dog violets, asters and cowslips are just a few that will encourage butterflies into gardens. Butterflies can be seen from March to April onwards unless there's a cold start to the spring. Planting at different heights is very helpful. Also pruning, if buddleias are pruned in three stages this encourages continual flowering providing more nectar.

Areas such as disused railway lines are a good area for butterflies providing shelter as well as plenty of nectar where grasses and flowers will grow. At the end of the season rotting fruits provide nectar.

Butterflies have many beautiful markings, some are quite fearsome to frighten away predators. We were shown many slides of different species and given interesting information about them. A thoroughly interesting afternoon.


10th April 2018 Evening Group Meeting with Dorothy Davidson


This evening we had the pleasure of Dorothy Davidson to talk to us about Dementia. First of all, she explained how she came to be a Dementia Champion as part of the Church and then the Holmes Chapel Partnership. The Partnership persuaded her that becoming a Dementia-friendly village would be an excellent idea and challenge for us all. So that started a campaign of approaching organisations and businesses to get everyone on board and raise awareness.

All of us know someone who has been affected by dementia in one way or another – the statistics say 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 will develop this disease.

Leisure groups are being asked to help in setting up classes that will provide activities for sufferers, and the Methodist Church has set up a Memory Café for patients and their carers, providing games, music, art activities and general chit-chat.

We were invited to put together a series of sentences about dementia and its symptoms, which gave us quite an insight into a disease we don't think about unless we are personally involved. It isn’t just an age issue either, which is disturbing.

Then we were asked to give details as to how we would make a cup of tea, to remind someone who can’t remember how to do this. Our ideas of what we thought a dementia patient was capable of doing was very variable.

It was an extremely interesting evening, giving us all an insight into the disease of dementia, and the needs of these people in everyday life. We all signed up to be a Dementia Friend in the village, and were given a badge to wear.

Thank you, Dorothy, for a lovely evening.


Branch Annual General Meetings - 13th March 2018

 Evening Group

Afternoon Group

photos: Dorothy Wood

This year we held the AGM meetings for both groups on the same date. So this month there is just one report.

Both meetings started with a short opening service. After this Jane Thomson read the Mothers' Union Report in Carole's absence. This reported on all our activities and fundraising events for the year. We had a very full and varied programme with some interesting talks, speakers and In House meetings. A theatre trip, craftwork and meals out were also included. We had a visit to our Prayer Partner Branch in Castle Northwich where we were treated to a delicious Afternoon Tea. In turn they came to us to a lovely talk by Anne Smith, our lay reader, about her journey through her teaching career and how this related to our journey through Christianity. Our Annual Strawberry Supper was a success, and we were supported yet again by our Deanery, Branches, past Partner Branches who, always say as they are leaving they'll be back again next year!

Dorothy then gave the Financial Report and was able to tell members that we continue to manage our funds well, and we were able to send almost £850 to Mothers' Union charities. Both reports were accepted favourably. The present committee are willing to stand again for the next year.

Following the reports we enjoyed some refreshments and each other's company.

Carole and I would like to thank the committee and members for their hard work. With their help and support we feel we have successful group.Thank you also to others who come along to our fund raising events and donate so generously.



21st February 2018 Afternoon Group Meeting

We were delighted to welcome Stuart Gammon to give us a similar informative and interesting talk about the work of Holmes Chapel Partnership to that which he gave to the evening group.  Along with this talk we heard about the proposed changes to the traffic system at the junction of London Road with the A50 and the road to Congleton. Following his talk there were many questions from the floor when concerns about changes and issues in the village were discussed.


Speakers from Holmes Chapel Partnership and Girlguiding -Tuesday 13th February 2018


We were delighted to welcome two speakers to our meeting this evening.

We began with a visit from local Girlguiding leaders who told us about a project the Guides are undertaking. They are making comfort bags to be filled with essentials for people who suddenly find themselves in hospital. We were shown a pattern for making these bags and the things they need to fill them, such as toothbrushes, shower gel, toothpaste etc all travel sized. We are now making collections of these things and some of us are going to make some bags. If anyone would like to contribute to these bags the Guides would be delighted.

Next, Stuart Gammon, the Chairman of the Holmes Chapel Partnership, spoke to us about the work of the partnership. This is a non-profit making volunteer group of people who work very hard running projects for the benefit of the whole village. A survey was undertaken to find out what the residents of the village wanted. They came up with a Parish Plan recommending what people wanted from tidying green verges to new play areas.

In 2010 they joined with other groups in the area to share ideas and learn from each other. Major capital projects completed to date are new play areas on Middlewich Road and Elm Drive, Dane Meadow, cycling and walking maps around the village and the 2G Challenge. 

Another successful project was the creation of a skatepark to provide the youngsters of the village something which they wanted.   Jill Cope, our late village PCSO, had worked with the Partnership alongside the youngsters, helping and encouraging them in raising money for the project. Three boys from the Comprehensive School had helped with the design and changes they wanted. They were involved all the way through. The skatepark was completed in February 2017 and opened by Fiona Bruce MP with Jill cutting the opening tape.

The Partnership has also been involved with events taking place in the village such as the Christmas Market, Health & Well Being Fair, the Tour of Britain, Celebrating Holmes Chapel and the Annual Village Fair.  All this work isn't done for nothing; it costs a great deal. Money has to be raised and grants applied for all of which takes time. Several more projects are  in the pipeline for the future all for the benefit of the village.

The next meeting will be on 13th February in the Church Hall at 7.45pm which will be our AGM. Do please come along!


Epiphany Meetings - Tuesday 9th January and Wednesday 17th January 2018

It seems to have been the tradition for at least the last 30 years to hold an Epiphany service and party every January meeting. Vicar Paul held the Communion services for us and then afterwards we joined in eating all the food that members brought to share (always far too much!). Food plays a very important part when encouraging people to socialise and this meeting does just that. Everyone brought something different to the table, and everyone enjoyed a good plate of food and a good chat with others.

It is nice to begin our year in this way as it gives us an opportunity to collect subscriptions from everyone, to distribute the new programmes, to give everyone their Prayer Partner (who they pray for every day for the next year and then buy them a Christmas present in December) and then to have a good catch up with everyone.

It seems to be like a new beginning every year!


Afternoon Christmas Meeting - Wednesday 13th December 2017

The recent snow had mostly gone to be replaced with rain, but this didn't stop our members coming for the Christmas meeting. Even though many were unable to come for various reasons it was lovely to welcome back three members who haven't been to join us for a while.

We held a different meeting this year with some Christmas readings, intercession prayers with candles and carol singing. Christine Jones played the piano for us and read an amusing poem all about a turkey! After plenty of requests for favourite enjoyed a very welcome cup of tea and mince pies. Prayer Partner gifts were given, we wished each other a Merry Christmas. Thanks go to Ann Stafford for reading and Judith Hall for leading intercession prayers.

We return in January for our Epiphany meetings when Vicar Paul will join us to lead us in Holy Communion.

Meetings on Tuesday 14th November and Wednesday 15th NovemberWe entitled both these meetings Christmas craftwork, but I think they would be better entitled ‘Working Together'.

For both meetings we provided twigs and ribbons to make a ‘Christmas tree’.  This caused some fun, frustration and working together for the evening group, but only one person took it up in the afternoon group.

The evening group were also provided with cards and paper to fold to make a pattern to decorate their card. Again this was met with ideas of talking together on how to achieve this. Some worked on their own to produce their own version, all of which were very impressive.

The afternoon group were provided with cut outs of poinsettias and various other papers and cut-outs to make cards for their Prayer Partners. There was a lot of ‘I can’t do this, I'm not creative’ which caused discussion of there is no such thing as perfection in artwork or creating things, after all we aren't perfect are we?? However everyone had a go and some really nice cards were created. It was an opportunity to talk to others and discuss what they were doing.

Afternoon Meeting - Wednesday 18th October 2017Our Prayer Partners from Northwich Holy Trinity, Castle, Northwich were invited to this meeting and also members’ friends, so we had an audience of 27 people. This was lovely as we had our Reader, Anne Smith, for our speaker.

Anne first of all spoke to us about school memories (of which I am sure we have many – perhaps an idea for a future meeting?!) some happy, but also some we felt were unjust and unfair. She then continued to explain what children and teachers have to undergo in order to achieve development in education. That word OFSTED still gave me a feeling of anxiety!! When Anne was a Head teacher at Willow Wood Primary School, her school motto was ‘Growing and Learning Together’ and she suggested the fact that it is the relationship between teacher and pupil that is so very important in our lives. Every child can achieve whatever their ability and it depends on our relationship with our teachers.

So how does this relate to our journey in Christianity? How can we grow if we aren’t free to question anything without being ridiculed? We need to make sure we have a good relationship with others, and that the ministry allow us to explore ideas and be encouraged. We are all on a journey of development together.

Quote: ‘ I'm in repair, I'm not together but I’m getting there' !! (John Mayer)

Christianity is not a once a week activity, it is a lifelong series of living. We are here to benefit others, to serve the communities of which we are a part, to encourage each other in our journey and to build one another up in faith.

Anne gave us a lot to think about and the challenges we need to take up in our journey of faith. Thank you, Anne!


The Work of a Prison Chaplain -10th Oct 2017

We were delighted to welcome Revd Gail Miller to our meeting this month who gave us a talk on her work as a Prison Chaplain.

Gail explained that she is one of many Chaplains of different to carry out this role, and had no idea what to expect when and wondered why she was called to do this job. She works for two days a week visiting two very different prisons, one is a young offenders prison and the other a high security. Life inside any prison is very and hard many are overcrowded and the work is challenging. Both prisons are all male prisons. The open prison is a young offenders prison where people are serving short sentences, or are there for resettlement after a long sentence.

The high security prison is very different, it feels very high secure and is overcrowded. Many there are drug addicts and sex offenders. Accommodation is shared giving no privacy. Life in there is tough. For the safety and welfare of both prisoners and staff there are many rules. We learnt about items you can't take into prison as a visitor which could be used as a weapon or to damage, for example a biro which could be a weapon, sugar that could be used for brewing or a magic marker to write graffiti on the walls.
Prison Chaplains are there to help, not to judge or criticise but to listen when people want to talk. This can be difficult for both the prisoner and Chaplain.

Many courses are held in prisons both educational and recreational. One special course, the Sycamore Tree Course, organised by the Prison Fellowship in association with the Prison Chaplaincy, teaches the principles of restorative justice. It is based on the story of Zacchaeus the dishonest tax collector: Luke 19:v1-10. The course runs in many prisons and has been proved to work. It doesn't receive any funding from official sources but runs purely on our donations.

Chaplains are there for the staff as well as prisoners and form a very important part of prison life. They are to be admired for the valuable work they do, often coping with difficult circumstances.


Henbury Celebration - 20th July 2017

70 years of MU


From left to right Wendy Sykes, Vivienne Ley, Lynne Hibbert, Chris Humphries, Jean Paton and Pamela Briggs

On 20th July 2017 we were invited by Henbury Mothers' Union to join them for a Service of Holy Communion to celebrate 70 years of Mothers' Union in Henbury. Henbury Branch have been our Prayer Partners in the past and since then we have joined with them on several occasions.

Pamela Briggs, Jean Paton and I were delighted to be able attend this service. We were warmly greeted by our hosts and it was lovely to meet not only the Henbury members, but members from other branches too. The church was full to celebrate this momentous occasion. Also attending the service were our Diocesan President, Vivian Ley; Macclesfield Archdeaconry President, Wendy Sykes; and Revd Canon Chris Humphries, MU Chaplain in Chester Diocese.

The service was led by Revd Dr Tim Robinson, prayers by Judith Dewdeney, Branch and Deanery Leader and readings by members of the branch. Canon Chris Humphries preached an entertaining sermon during which we were invited to join him in song, not forgetting the serious side of the service to give thanks for the longevity of the MU branch in Henbury.

At the end of the service, we were invited to join Branch members in the church hall for a delicious supper, prepared by members. A birthday celebration wouldn't be complete without a cake and Henbury had such a cake made by Lynne Hibbert. Vivienne Ley cut the cake which was then enjoyed by everyone. 'Happy Birthday' wishes were sung wishing them many more years to come. On display were albums of previous years and projects that the branch had undertaken.


Cheshire Show Babychanging Duty again - 21st June 2017

Every year the Mothers' Union provide a ‘Baby-changing' tent for the two days at the Cheshire Show. This year Dorothy Wood and I were invited to help out on the Wednesday for the day. Jackie Gibson is also one of the organisers.

The tent provides changing mats and facilities for parents (and Grandparents) who need to feed baby or change baby's nappy without having to struggle to find a quiet space somewhere on the showground. It also has an area to occupy toddlers while they are waiting. The MU ladies are there to make sure everything goes smoothly and to provide a constant clean area for baby-changing.

Information on MU was available and also many of the knitted items for purchase. Many parents wrote comments in the book, and all of these were very encouraging and supportive. We actually provided changing and feeding facilities for 200 babies on the Wednesday and 170 on the Tuesday. It was a very warm day, so some parents were thankful for a peaceful area to cool and calm down. Hopefully we will be invited back again next year for a very worthwhile cause.


Strawberry Supper 13th June 2017












Photos: Carole Elliott

On Tuesday, 13th June, we held our annual Strawberry Supper. We often wonder if it has had its day because we have been holding this event for many years. However, on the way out, many members said that they really enjoy coming and will be back again next year!

This year we invited all the Congleton Deanery MU members, as well as past Prayer Partners, Henbury and High Legh. Over sixty people came along, including a few guests of members, and we raised almost £460 for the MU “Summer of Hope” appeal to make hope shine brightly in communities in the UK and around the world.

The table quiz is always provided whilst waiting for everyone to arrive. This year Dorothy found a Dingbats quiz, which gave people something to think about. Everyone was provided with a plate of scones and cream, with strawberries and as much cake as they could eat! Wine was served and afterwards, cups of tea and coffee. There was a raffle, a bric-a-brac stall and a good selection of books to buy. 

After the supper, Dorothy’s quiz was handed out, one part of which was called “Around Britain” and the other part was general knowledge - something for everyone! This year the Henbury team won with the most correct answers, and Mossley came a very close second.

A good night was had by all, and this time next year we will do it all over again!

We have to thank our very great team who put in so much time and effort to help on the night. We are very lucky to have these people who may not be on the committee, but without them we could not hold such an event. They know who they are!

Next month, the evening group will be going to the theatre on Tuesday 4th July for their last meeting of the year (one week earlier than usual), and the afternoon group will have their afternoon tea delivered to them in the Church Hall, provided by The Cobbles, on Wednesday 19th July at 2pm.

If any member has not put their name down on the list for this meeting, please let us know on the following numbers - Carole Elliott on 533882 or Dorothy Wood on 533704.

Dorothy Wood and Carole Elliott

26th April 2017

MU group at Diocesan Festival Chester Cathedral




Twelve members of Mothers' Union travelled to Chester for the annual Diocesan Festival held in the Cathedral on Wednesday 26th April.

We gathered outside the cathedral for a photo before going for lunch. Four of the group were missing!

They had set off to treat themselves to lunch at The Grosvenor Hotel, and why not!

11th April 2017


This evening’s meeting was entitled ‘Easter Reflections’. This opened up the discussions of remembering the kinds of eggs we used to have as children and the fact that some of us used to have a new outfit or coat ready for going to Church on Easter Sunday.

Val read us an excerpt from Delia Smith’s book ‘A Feast for Lent’ about the story of Joseph of Arimathea. She then read us a poem by Helen Steiner Rice about Easter.

After more discussion, Jane told us about the day she received Maundy money from the Queen at Derby Cathedral. We were shown the coins and the photos taken on the day.

Our next evening meeting will be on Tuesday 9th May at 7.45pm when we look forward to hearing some more from the International Guides.

2017 Annual General Meetings

Tuesday 14th March (evening) and Wednesday 15th March (afternoon)

The March meetings have now become the AGM when we deliver the accounts for the year and the annual report.

In the evening meeting this was followed by wine and nibbles, and the afternoon ladies were treated to a lovely afternoon tea prepared by Dorothy Wood. There were plenty of sandwiches and crisps, lots of cakes including mini cream scones and a lovely coffee cake made by Margaret Hardwick. I think the evening ladies ought to join the afternoon ladies next year to help us eat all the food!

This is always followed by interesting conversations between members, and often gives us ideas for future meetings. Many members also offer to help us doing particular jobs as they can see what hard work the committee put in throughout the year, but aren’t always able to commit themselves to being on the committee.

They were both very successful meetings and I am sure the MU members would like me to thank Dorothy for all her hard work and effort in arranging a lovely afternoon tea for us all.

Our next evening meeting will be on Tuesday 11th April at 7.45pm and the next afternoon meeting will be on Wednesday 19th April at 2pm. They are both entitled ‘Easter Reflections’ so if any of you have any Easter thoughts, poems or reflections to share with us please bring them along.

Wed 11th Oct 2016
Well, what a wonderful meeting we had! Nick Bianchi and ‘Mr Paul’ both came to talk to us about the history of the Arighi Bianchi shop in Macclesfield. They had done their homework and knew that MU was 140 years old, and told us that Arighi Bianchi was now 162 years old.
It all started when Antonio Arighi came over from Lake Como to Macclesfield to escape the civil war in his country. Why Macclesfield? Well, it was the largest manufacturer of silk in the world, with 71 silk mills to its name, and Como had also been a producer of silk. He first of all successfully sold barometers! Then his niece married a skilled cabinet-maker called Antonio Bianchi, and the rest is history. 
Only the Bianchis now run the business, and have survived through many periods of history including 2 World Wars. Their original goal was to build an emporium to suit all classes from countries all around the world, and in 1892 they constructed the building we know today. The idea was to build it as tall as they could for as cheap as they could – it is a wonder it is still standing today as it has no foundations! In 1973 the Bianchis received an order that the building was to be demolished to build a new road. A petition was set up, and fortunately the family were acquainted with Sir John Betjeman, Poet Laureate, who was able to use his influence to save the building. 
Life has changed and moved on over the years, including the purchase of a fleet of vans which can be seen all over the country, and the setting up of the Coffee Bar, which was an idea Mr Paul brought back from his visit to Chicago. The business has had to change with the times, providing more modern styles of furniture; using the Internet and Twitter; employing many younger members of staff as well as those who have worked there for many years. They are now able to support charities such as the East Cheshire Hospice and Breast Cancer (they have painted one of their vans pink in support of this), and still they remain very much a family business.
They stayed to answer questions, and we could have asked so many more! We all enjoyed the evening, even the husbands who had been invited along to add to the numbers.

 Wed 21st Sep 2016



This month’s meeting was a small intimate affair with only 6 of us present, due to holidays and family commitments!

Dorothy had seen Prayer Cards made at a training meeting and we decided to have a go. We provided some small prayers for those who wanted to copy them out rather than write their own on to the small cards. Then we decorated them and finally laminated them so that people can use them in Church.

It was a really lovely evening with people talking to each other or concentrating on the therapeutic pattern-making on their cards.

At next month’s meeting we will be learning about the history of the Arighi Bianchi store. Please bring a friend along with you.

Wed 20th July 2016

Summer Afternoon Meeting at "Cobbles"

Photo: Janet Hulley

This July we decided to change the format of the Summer afternoon meeting and book Afternoon Tea at Cobbles Tea Room in Holmes Chapel.
A group of 18 of us met up on a very sunny Wednesday afternoon and piled into Cobbles! We had to spread out somewhat as, for a change, it was very warm, but I hope this didn’t detract from the enjoyment of a lovely afternoon tea. It was a very sociable afternoon and I hope that everyone enjoyed it. I would also like to give thanks to Janet, Libby and the team at Cobbles for working very hard to make sure we all had sandwiches, lovely cakes and, of course, plenty of cups of tea!

Our next meeting will be starting again on the third Wednesday in September (21st) when we will be making Prayer cards.


Tues 14th Jun

Strawberry Supper!!


Each year St. Luke’s MU holds a Strawberry Supper for the whole of Congleton Deanery to raise money for overseas funds. This year we raised the excellent sum of £440 for the ‘Big Summer Appeal’.

About 70 MU members bought tickets this year and were invited to do a table quiz whilst waiting for everyone to arrive. Everyone was provided with a plate of scones and cream with strawberries and as much cake as they could eat! Wine was served and afterwards cups of tea and coffee. There was a raffle, a bric-a-brac stall and a huge selection of books to buy.

After the supper they were handed out ‘Rod’s Famous Quiz’ which Rod Pickles provides every year. This year most of the questions were quite manageable and two tables shared the prize having got 42 out of the 43 questions correct.

A good night was had by all, and this time next year we will do it all over again!

Many thanks to all the people who put in so much time and effort to help on the night.
Next month the evening group will be going to the theatre on Tuesday 12th July for their last meeting of the year, and the afternoon group will be going for afternoon tea at Cobbles on Wednesday 20th July at 2pm.

Wed 18th May


Hands up!! - Pilates in action!


Photo: Carole Elliott

Carole began our meeting with a short service. She then told us that our speaker had to cancel at the last minute.  However, Carole rose to the occasion and quickly found us another speaker, Claire Gillmer from the Community Gym, who came and gave us a lesson in 'Pilates'. This was new to most of us, but we soon found ourselves doing the gentle exercises and enjoying it!
Most of it was done whilst sitting down which suited us very well. Claire suggested that we try the exercises at home and so we left with good intentions of doing so.
For our meeting on July 20th we have decided to have afternoon tea at The Cobbles. The cost will be £6.00 each.  Last year we had lunch for our outing but this was poorly attended so hence the change of plan. We hope the afternoon tea will prove to be more popular.
Do come if you can!
Margaret Hardwick

Sunday 1st May

photo: Alan Rickards

Cakes with coffee - MU Away From It All project

The cake stall run by members at coffee time on Sunday 1st May after the 10 am service raised the terrific sum of £146 for the Away From It All project.  Through this the Mothers’ Union provides a holiday for families who cannot afford one themselves. 

Many thanks to everyone who provided the cakes, bought and consumed them, contributing to this fantastic result.

Wed 20th Apr 2016



This afternoon was a very pleasant occasion. Yvonne led our service at the beginning of the meeting.

We were delighted to welcome Anne Jack, who came to introduce us to 'Bag Whist'. It was surprising how we remembered how to play whist even if some of us hadn't seen a pack of cards for years!
Anne skilfully adapted the game to suit our members and everyone seemed to be a winner in the end and enjoyed the chocolates Anne had brought as prizes. It was an enjoyable afternoon and it seems likely that we will try to persuade Anne to make a return visit.

While we had our tea, tickets were sold at £3.00 each for our Strawberry Supper on June 14th at 7.30 pm.
This is an annual event to which we invite other M.U.groups in the Diocese. It is a popular evening and includes 'Bring and Buy', Bookstall, Raffle etc.

We closed the meeting with the Grace.

Margaret Hardwick

Tues 12th Apr 2016



Photo: Dorothy Wood


This month we were treated to a very enjoyable evening led by Pat Riches one of our members. When planning our programme for this year we were delighted when Pat offered to present another evening for us. We all know that Pat is a very accomplished cake decorator and we were expecting a demonstration. Not so - this time we were all going to make something!

The hall was set up for the meeting as usual, plus a large group of tables arranged with small packages, silver boards, paint brushes, paper plates and a picture. When our service concluded we all made our way to a place on this large table.

We were shown finished Christmas cake decorations that had been made by Pat's grandchildren. They looked very impressive. Pat reassured is that making these was easier than they looked. Following Pat's careful instructions we started work. First we made some simple but very effective trees, followed by a Father Christmas. It was amazing to see that although we all followed the same instructions every one was very different and all portrayed a different character! The conversation was lively and everyone was delighted with the results.

Jackie Gibson joined us this month with her Diocesan members. Jackie read about the meeting in the Parish Magazine and asked if they could join us. We were delighted to welcome them, We have had a lovely message from them to say how much they enjoyed their visit.

Our thanks go to Pat for a very enjoyable evening, and to Jane Thomson and Michelle Carter for leading our service. Next month 'The International Guides' are coming to talk to us about their visit abroad last year.

Dorothy Wood

Wed 16th Mar 2016


The March meeting has now become the month for the AGM when we deliver the accounts for the year and the annual report.

After this the afternoon ladies were treated to a lovely afternoon tea prepared by Dorothy Wood. There were plenty of sandwiches and a wonderful coffee and walnut cake – I think we managed to eat most of it between us!

What struck me was the fact that the conversation between the ladies led to what interesting jobs they used to do (one working for Spirella corsets – do you remember those??!). I am sure we could compile our own list of speakers from members without relying on outside speakers! It was a very successful afternoon and I am sure the MU members would like me to thank Dorothy for all her hard work and effort in putting together a lovely afternoon tea for us all.

Our next afternoon meeting will be on Wednesday 20th April when Anne Jack will come along and show you how much fun you can have with Bag Whist! More details will be in the Sunday Link notices.

If you are interested in joining us for that afternoon just come along at 2pm in the Church  Hall on April 20th, or ring me on HC 533882 or Dorothy on HC 533704.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Thurs 10th Mar 2016The meeting for this month was our AGM, now in March rather than November to coincide with the end of the financial year.
Dorothy explained to us the finances for last year - how much money we had from membership fees and other incomes such as raffles, book stall etc, and how much our outgoings were - this all seemed to tally, and we thank Dorothy for a splendid job done as Treasurer.
The report for 2015 was read out, detailing all the activities from the past year.
After that we discussed ideas as to how we could do fund-raising activities for MU projects. Having a cake stall once every 3 months at the Sunday morning coffee time after Church was suggested. We will be trying this out for the first time on Sunday May 1st.
Whilst having our wine and nibbles, a quiz was provided to work on together. This provided much discussion with everyone helping out each other and singing songs to work out the answers!
Next month’s Evening meeting will be on Tuesday April 12th and will be a demonstration by Pat Riches - please come and join us and see what she is going to show us. For the afternoon meeting we will be having a game of Bag Whist - all are welcome!
Wed. 17th Feb 2016

We began our meeting with a short service, starting with a minutes silence as we remembered Sue Mason and Doris Whelan, both of whom have died since our last meeting. We prayed for Vicar Paul, Mark, Heather and Phyllis as they mourn the loss of Sue. Also, members too ill to attend were remembered as always.
Our meeting continued with Michelle telling us about knitting hats for Smoothie bottles for which 25p is given to Age UK for each Smoothie sold with a hat. This was explained in detail in the March magazine as Michelle also led the evening meeting.
We soon discovered that, even if we hadn't knitted for ages, we soon got going and the needles went at a great pace. We were full of enthusiasm and the only difficulty was getting people to stop and have a cup of tea! Michelle brought some smoothies for us to try. It seemed likely that several of us would be knitting some more hats at home. We thanked Michelle for a very pleasant afternoon.
Our next afternoon meeting is on April 20th and is entitled 'Bag Whist'. Do join us if you can.

Margaret Hardwick

Tues 9th Feb 2016


Our evening group met on Shrove Tuesday. The meeting began with a short service lead by Ann Stafford and Michelle Carter. The title of this month’s meeting was 'Knit and Natter' - something different and a chance to do something practical. Michelle had kindly offered to lead this for us and we looked forward to what she was going to do.
We were set a project to knit hats for Innocent bottles! Michelle went on to explain that the company who make Innocent Smoothie drinks had come up with an idea of how to raise some money for Age UK to help older people keep warm in winter. For every hat on one of their bottles the company will give 25p to Age UK. This has taken off in a big way and during February each year little hats will start       appearing on the bottles in the shops. People all over the country are knitting these little hats. We were shown a selection of hats   already made, some lovely variations on the basic pattern. A strawberry, a duck and an owl etc. We followed this by being given needles and wool to start.
There was much chatter and laughter as we all sat round to choose wool and start. In no time at all hats were being produced. Patterns and wool were taken home by those who wanted to knit some more hats. Anybody interested in making these hats can find information on the internet by looking up Innocent Big Knit. (Or contact us and we can give you the information!)
As it was Shove Tuesday it was decided that instead of the usual tea/coffee and biscuits, pancakes would be served instead. This was very much appreciated by the ladies.

Thurs 21st Jan 2016

At the beginning of every year we start off our meetings with our Epiphany Service and party. It seems to be a good way to start off the year and get everyone together for the meeting, especially when food is concerned! Canon Ron took the service for us with a lovely homily on ‘Giving Quality Time’ – a continuation of father Peter’s sermon two weeks ago. We all decided we do make our lives too busy and don’t give enough time to others.

Everyone brought some food to share and amazingly everyone brought something different and there was plenty to go round with plenty left over -  a bit like the Feeding of the Five Thousand! We all had the opportunity to catch up with other members during the meeting, and everyone was also given the name of their particular Prayer Partner, who they will pray for during the year and then finally reveal their identity when they buy them a Prayer Partner Christmas present at the end of the year. We also all had an MU Consultation form to fill in which gave rise to much discussion – how can we encourage new members and younger members??  Jane Thomson also invited us to share her Epiphany ‘Galette de rois’ where Christine Land found the charm in her piece of cake.

We all went away commenting on what a good evening it had been and how nice it was to share things with others.

 Wed 20th Jan 2016

We gathered to meet for our first meeting of the new year on a sunny afternoon. It was good to see so many of our members. As usual we began the year with a Communion Service. Canon Ron led our service treating us to one of his 'homilies' which gave us food for thought. Our annual Epiphany Party followed the service and we were delighted that Canon Ron joined us for a while to enjoy a cup of tea and a chatter with us.
A table of delicious food was provided by our members, this all went down very well with a welcome cup of tea. There was plenty of chatter as following Christmas there is always news to impart.
We had a special celebration too as Cynthia Harris had her 90th birthday at Christmas and we marked the occasion with a cake. We lit nine candles each representing a decade, and of course sang 'Happy Birthday'.

Our new programme is now beginning and we look forward to some interesting and different topics. Our February meeting will be in the Church Hall on Wednesday 17th February at 2.00pm.


December 2013- Dec 2015 reports

 are available here




We have quite a large membership in the Mothers'  Union here at St.Luke’s and meet in the Church Hall on the 2nd Tuesday evening of each month at 7.45pm and  the 3rd Wednesday afternoon of each month at 2.00pm.

A corporate communion is held on the 1st Wednesday morning of each month at 10.30am in church – all are very welcome.

The aim of the Mothers'  Union is to help with all aspects of family life nationwide - see also the corporate website at

The branch recently celebrated its 90th anniversary with a splendid commerative cake shown below with Dorothy, our Treasurer, and Wynne Pickles, our late Branch Secretary:  

Some of our members go into the local secondary schools with virtual babies to point out to teenagers that it is preferable to have a baby when they are ready to cope with such a hard task. Others help at a parent contact centre for divided families where they act as chaperones.

We have also helped in the baby changing and feeding tent at the Cheshire Show. 

Many of our members knit or sew for a local home for teenage Mum’s and their babies.

Fund raising events are also organised for our National M.U.charities, such as overseas disaster funds and literacy schemes, as well as providing short breaks for families who are in difficulties. These are only a few of the occasions when we try to provide help.

We are also a very friendly group and enjoy the social meetings each month, when we either listen to a speaker or have a discussion.

Anyone wishing to join us is more than welcome to attend any of our meetings

Should you require any other information do not hesitate to contact either Carole Elliott – our Secretary on 01477 533882 or Dorothy Wood – our Treasurer on 01477 533124.