Mothers' Union

Last edited by webmaster on 3 December 2016 - 10:52pm

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 MU please just turn up for a meeting or ring Carole or Dorothy at the numbers above - we are a friendly group and will be delighted to welcome you.

for more about our Branch click here

December meetings:

Tuesday 13th Dec - MU Evening Christmas Meal – meet at The Red Lion 19:15 for 19:30.

Wednesday 14th Dec - MU Afternoon meeting - Christmas meeting in the Church Hall.

Special Reminder for Members - remember to bring your Prayer Partner’s present to your chosen Christmas meeting. 


Wed 11th Oct
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



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

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.

Tues 8th and Wed 16th Dec 2015


December saw both our groups celebrating this festive season with our Christmas meetings.
The evening group gathered at The George and Dragon for a Christmas meal on 8th December, organised for us by Ann Stafford. We enjoyed a   delicious meal and each other's company. Prayer Partner presents were   exchanged and the evening was considered another success by everyone. Our thanks go to Ann for her efforts.
The afternoon group met in the Church Hall on 16th December to hear the children from the Hermitage School Choir sing Christmas Carols. This meeting is always a popular one and the children are a delight to hear. We were also treated again to hearing the music group play for us. When the children had finished their performance the ladies then sang for them wishing them all a Merry Christmas. The children returned to school but not before having a drink and a treat to take back with them.
A short service was then led by Jane Thomson & Michelle Carter. Keeping to the festive theme, Christine Jones kindly offered to play the piano so that the ladies could sing some Christmas Carols. Prayer Partner presents were exchanged and mince pies and a welcome cup of tea were enjoyed by all.
We all look forward to meeting again in 2016.
Dorothy Wood

Craft making - Tuesday 10th Nov 2015

What a busy meeting we had this month! We decided that as it was getting towards Christmas it would be a good idea to get together and make some cards. We provided all the materials to make some Christmas cards but the first reaction was ‘I don’t know where to start! I can’t do this!’
An hour later we were having trouble getting people to stop! The creations can be seen on the photos – pretty spectacular we thought. Val spent a lot of time and effort on her card, which we were all very impressed with. Other members were very creative and produced a few wonderful cards using the various materials provided. It gave everyone the opportunity to talk to each other about what they were doing. It was a very successful meeting which everyone enjoyed (and worked very hard too!)

Our next evening meeting is on Tuesday 8th December when we will be going to the George and Dragon for our annual Christmas meal.
Please can members return their menus and money to Ann Stafford before the night of the meal, thank you.


Village Policing - Tues 13th Oct 2015

What an amazing meeting we had this month! We invited Jill Cope our local PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) to come and speak to us about her duties in our village. She brought a Police Officer with her - Barbara Evans, who is her Beat Manager and a great support to her.

Jill explained to us how the area is now split up into 8 local policing units (LPUs) and we are served by Crewe, and the fact that she is expected to use public transport when travelling between villages and towns in her semi-rural area. However, she and Barbara will soon be able to share the office with the Parish Council in the village which will make life easier.

Jill’s duties are to be on high visibility foot patrol to deal mainly with parking and other general issues in the village, including unacceptable behaviour, and she is always able to call on back-up support for more difficult situations. She is able to detain but not arrest.
We were amazed at the various different units available in the area if necessary. The control room at Winsford takes the calls and radio operators transfer the information to the Response Officers. We have the services of the Armed Response Unit, Traffic Officers, AMPR Interceptors, Specialist Investigation Unit, Police dogs and handlers, Air Support Unit helicopters, Area Support Group (for riots and protests), Underwater Search Team, Forensics and a custody suite in Middlewich. This suite consists of 25-30 cells which are invariably ‘occupied’ and sometimes full to overflowing at weekends!

At the end of the meeting Barbara demonstrated on Jill how she would handcuff a criminal (which looked quite painful!) and we were invited to feel the heavy weight of their stab-proof/ bullet-proof vests. Barbara’s was heavier due to carrying handcuffs, gas canister and truncheon which Jill, as a PCSO, didn’t carry. The photo shows Mary Humble trying on Barbara’s vest to see how heavy it really felt.

We learnt so much about Jill’s duties in our village and the role of the Police in our area, which I have to say was very reassuring!
Do say hello to Jill if you see her walking round (and round!) the village.

Our next evening meeting is on Tuesday 10th November when we will be putting our creative skills to the test making Christmas cards (materials and examples will be provided). Do come and join us and see what we get up to.

Summer Lunch at the George & Dragon:  Wed 15th July 2015


There were 8 members of the afternoon group including 2 husbands and Betty Hamilton's carer who met over lunch at the George & Dragon hostelry in Holmes Chapel. They enjoyed their meals and all tucked into some nice puddings!

The next meeting will be on Wednesday afternoon September 16th and will be entitled 'The book that helped me'.

Please bring a book to share with other members and tell us how it has helped you.




Summer Evening Meal at the George & Dragon: Tues 14th Jul 2015

This year we decided not to go bowling (too energetic) or to the theatre (too scary) but to go back to the George & Dragon for an evening meal. Fifteen of us were due to turn up, though unfortunately one or two were unable to come, and we were given a nice long table in the conservatory.

We all enjoyed our evening out and it is nice to get together with all our members and find out a bit more about them and what they are up to. We also asked them to volunteer ideas for our next year’s programme.

Dorothy and I say thank you very much to all our members for their support and help throughout the year - without their help we wouldn’t be able to exist as a group.

We meet next on Tuesday September 8th when our discussion will be ‘The book that helped me’, and the same for the afternoon group on Wednesday September 16th. Please bring along a book that has been of help or guided you in the past so that you can share it with others.

We hope you all have a lovely Summer break and look forward to meeting again in September.

If you have any questions, queries or ideas, or want to join us please contact us – Carole on HC 533882 and Dorothy on HC 533704.

We are also putting an MU quiz at the back of the Church – if you would like one please take one and put £1 in the pot to raise funds for Mothers’ Union projects world-wide. Thank you!




Strawberry Supper Tues 9th Jun 2015

Once more we held our annual Strawberry Supper on Tuesday evening to which all our MU Partners and Deanery Branches of MU were invited. We had wondered about changing this idea another year but about 90 people turned up and it was as successful as ever and so, no, we won’t be changing it!

We started with a DingBats quiz to keep everyone occupied whilst people were still arriving. Then came the usual ‘Rod’s Quiz’ whilst eating the strawberry scones with cream and cakes. His quiz was delivered to each table – this was the serious part of the evening! There were 40 questions of which somehow the Henbury table won again!! Though our ladies Yvonne and Pam’s team came very close. (Very intelligent ladies!!) The questions were slightly easier than last year (I thought, as I couldn’t answer very many last year) but we had a bit of an altercation on the answers of one of the questions!

After second, third and fourth helpings of scones and cakes, plus tea and coffee we found out the answers to the quiz and held our raffle. There were some lovely prizes donated by our MU members with quite a few happy winners. The evening finally came to an end at about 9.30 and a good time was had by all (or so they all said as they went home!) with a request to do it again next year.



I really would like to thank the whole band of MU members who turned up to help us set out tables, put the cream and strawberries on the scones, made and served the teas and coffees, ‘manned’ the book stall, raffle and Bring and Buy, and made all the table decorations. Also those members who magically cleared up, washed up and put everything away - a great big thank you.

We raised over £440 which is going to be donated to the MU Big Wheels Appeal fund, which supports people at home and abroad who are refugees, survivors of abuse or living in poverty.

Chocolatier Demonstration Tues 12th May 2015

This month’s meeting was a repeat of the afternoon meeting – the visit of Gill Millward the Chocolatier. She was supposed to be coming to us in October this year but had to cancel due to other commitments, so we persuaded her to come this month instead.

I am so glad that she was able to come as she brought all her chocolate goodies with her for us to try!

Gill explained that she had been trained as a florist originally, but after a visit to France where she tried their chocolate, she decided to retrain as a chocolatier instead. All her chocolates are completely home-made and are particularly time–intensive in the making of them (and quite messy too I would imagine!) She provides small local businesses with various flavours and shapes of chocolates including platform shoes.

It was fascinating watching her temper the chocolate to just the right consistency to work with, and she used white chocolate and dark chocolate, adding some colours and flavours to make them all very interesting. Some were chocolate balls with coatings, others were white chocolate with stencils on, but the most fascinating was the use of the shoe mould.

After her demonstration she passed round chocolates for us to try, and very good they were too! It was a very successful evening and we were also pleased to welcome visitors who don’t normally come to our evening meetings.





MU Diocesan Festival - Chester Cathedral - Tues 12th May 2015

On Tuesday 12th May six of us joined the Congleton Deanery coach for our annual trip to Chester for the Diocesan Festival in the Cathedral.

This year would be special as Rt. Revd. Libby Lane, our new Bishop of Stockport was to lead the service (herself an MU member). Also the Mothers’ Union Worldwide President Lynne Tembey was to give the address.

As part of the service the Revd. Canon Chris Humphries was also commissioned as the Mothers’ Union Diocesan Chaplain. He had already begun his role by organising this particular service. The Cathedral was full, and the banners of Macclesfield and Chester were brought to the front in a long procession.

It was a very enjoyable service with great hymns, a down–to-earth address and an interesting interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer.

Part of our annual ritual now seems to be going to Duttons for lunch, where we always say we have eaten too much, and drinking copious amounts of tea and coffee!! However I think the fellowship we get from all going together and having a ‘Grand day out’ is most important. We look forward to it again next year. Perhaps you will join us??



AGM - Tues 10th Mar 2015

The 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 2014 was read out, detailing all the activities from the past year.

After that three of us read out a little play ‘maybe next time’ about how people never quite agree to join the Committee, but maybe next time. 



In order to earn the cheese and wine, each member was asked to discuss what they had found out about what the Mothers’ Union does. We discovered that it covers many areas, often behind the scenes, and especially in other countries. We don’t often get to just ‘talk’ to each other so we all sat around a table of cheese, nibbles and wine and did just that.

Next month’s Evening meeting will be on Tuesday April 7th and is entitled ‘Knitting’ with Michelle Carter – please come and join us and see what she wants us to do. For the afternoon meeting we will be visited by the Chocolatier – all are welcome!


Circle Dancing - 10th Feb 2015

The meeting for February was a little bit different in that we invited Pat Percival and some of her Circle Dancers to help us perform some Circle dancing. It was a very interesting evening with most of us joining in with a variety of gentle dances, some slow , some faster, but all with a limited number of steps and accompanied by some lovely music. We all enjoyed it whether we joined in or not – and I am sure we were a sight to see for those who sat out for one or two of the dances! The secret, I found, was not to watch anyone else at all for fear of losing your step!

Our next evening meeting will be held on Tuesday March 10th at 7.45 in the Church Hall when we will be having our AGM, which will be followed by cheese and wine and a look at what MU actually does. We hope that as many as possible will turn up to support us, and would certainly like to see some new faces joining us.

you can find out more about Circle Dancing here

The Royal Trains - John Hooley 11th Nov 2014

It was wonderful to see so many people turn up for our meeting this month – 40 altogether and mostly men!
As it was Remembrance Day we began with a prayer of Remembrance and a poem. We also remembered Malcolm Cragg who used to support all our Open meetings with Val.

We had invited John Hooley to come and talk to us on the subject of the Royal Trains – so, many men were ‘dragged’ out by their wives to attend. There were even MU members who normally attend our afternoon meetings. It was a very successful evening on all accounts, and that was nothing to do with the fact we provided cakes and raffle tickets.
John gave us a very informative talk about the Royal trains from Victorian times onwards, illustrated by the many photos he and his wife had taken or collected. He seemed to be able to get some excellent photos of the Queen and her family.
We certainly enjoyed it and will now hopefully be able to recognise a Royal train if we see one. The cakes went down well too!

Duchess of Sutherland at Hellifield carrying the Prince of Wales coat of arms headboard awaits departure with the Royal Train on 22nd March 2005.

Photo: David Wilcock


Tales of Middle Eastern Travels - Judith Coyne 11th Oct 2014

What a wonderful evening we had! Judith Coyne came and told us stories of her travels to the Middle East and demonstrated an insight into the culture and customs of that area. Each country has its own rules for dress code especially for women.

In Iran and Saudi Arabia she found she had to conform to very strict rules covering herself with long loose dark-coloured clothes, scarves in order to ‘cover one’s adornments’ (ie hair), clothes which fasten at the neck and wrist, and thick socks or stockings at all times. No make-up or jewellery was to be worn either. Ties for men are seen as Western Decadence!
In Jordan it is necessary to cover your arms but not your head.
In Lombok, a small Muslim island, the same strict rules do not apply – female waitresses wear short sleeves and short skirts.

Judith obviously enjoys travelling round that part of the world but even she said that there are parts that she would not be able to go back to now with all the troubles in the Middle East.

We were then allowed to try the outfits she had brought and many of us went to investigate them and to ask more questions of Judith. We did wonder how the women felt about wearing all these black clothes which covered them from head to floor.


Sale of local WI Patchwork Quilt will help Church Roof Appeal - Sep 2014

  Mothers'Union were delighted to welcome the ladies from our local WI group to both our meetings this September.

The ladies came to talk to us about a patchwork quilt they have made to be raffled to raise funds to be divided between their local branch and for our church roof fund. The quilt is exquisite and all hand stitched by the ladies. They designed it and meet together over many months to complete this work. We heard all about their interest in patchwork and they displayed many other items they have made. We were all amazed at how much they have made.

The quilt is to be raffled when they hold their annual Christmas service which this year will be held here at St. Luke's when our Vicar Paul will pull the winning ticket out of the box.

Tickets will be available for some time, so if anyone is interested in buying any at £1 each please contact me Dorothy Wood, HC 533704 and I can arrange this for you.

MU Family Fun Day at Chester Cathedral Saturday 12th July 2014

At some very early hour Ann Peach from Brereton MU drove myself and Brenda Watson over to Chester Cathedral for the Family Fun Day. When we arrived we had to unload the bran tubs, wrapped gifts and spinning wheel for our stall, and then set it up before the onslaught of visitors at 11.00. Other Deanery members turned up and we set up it all up - 2 lucky-dip bran tubs and a spinning wheel with questions that had to be answered before being allowed to have a gift (you can tell a teacher set that one up!!).

It was a lovely sunny day and we were situated under the shade of a tree to begin with. During the morning we had a small steady stream of people passing through, with some asking what MU did. Fortunately we had all the answers on a board set up on our stall (this also gave answers to the childrens’ questions) – it was actually amazing to see all the things that MU supports around the world that we had probably forgotten about.

I was lucky because Dorothy and Barbara Savage came to collect me for lunch – which was lovely as the Races were on as well and all the ladies were dressed in their best dresses and hats.

In the afternoon Barbara and Dorothy took over and even more children came to visit us. Once they realised they could get something for free they were back time and time again, but Ann made sure that each time they had to answer a question about MU!

It was nice to see all the MU groups in the Chester Diocese who had all made a very great effort to encourage the children and their families to come and see what we were about. We were also very lucky in that it was a beautiful day (lots of prayers had been said!) and we were in the lovely surroundings of the grounds of the Cathedral with lots of tourists visiting.

Carole Elliott (who also supplied the photo)

Bowling again at Lakeside - 8th July

On Tuesday 8th July, twelve of us (MU members, partners and friends) went to Crewe for our annual Summer trip out. We decided to go to the Lakeside bowling alley at Crewe again this year as we had enjoyed it so much last year.

There were originally fourteen of us but Dorothy Wood and Peter had to opt out as they had to go to their daughter’s in London. So they allowed us three lanes for the twelve of us – we decided that it would be a good idea for the men to have one lane to themselves but as there were only three of them they needed a very brave volunteer to join them – this being Anne Smith!!!



We caused some havoc because the score screens wouldn’t work and one poor attendant had to keep going behind the scenes to retrieve balls and knock down skittles! After one group of us  finally had a lane change we got on with the job in hand. The men were trying to teach Anne how to throw a ball properly to get it straight down the lane, Michelle decided it was better to throw left-handed, and even at one point to throw a ball across two lanes, and Pat decided to throw hers backwards!! It was all good fun. Fortunately they put the expert bowlers in lanes at the other end from us, and there was quite a variety of people playing in the lanes between us (no better than we were I might add) so we didn’t feel too bad.

We could have unlimited games, but after two games each we decided our hands and arms were aching and it was time to go home. We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the men even asked if they could join MU, thinking we would say no because they were men – but of course anyone can join MU, male or female. There will certainly be meetings in the future when they and others will be very welcome to join us. One of those is 11th November when John Hooley will be coming to talk to us about the Royal trains. Anyone interested in joining us please ring me on 533882 or Dorothy on 533704.

We now take a break for the Summer and meet up again on Tuesday September 10th, when the WI patchworkers will come to talk about a quilt they have made in order to raffle for proceeds towards the Church Roof Appeal.


Carole Elliott (who also supplied the photos)

MU at the Cheshire Show - June 18th

On Wednesday June 18th Dorothy Wood and I supported a team of MU members in the running of the Mother and Baby marquee at this year’s Cheshire Show.


It was there to enable parents and Grandparents to change babies’ nappies in comfort and to feed them if necessary. Over the two days of the Show 472 families visited the facility, which was a record number. Many positive comments were received by parents and a majority could not understand why this facility was not available at other shows.

We were very lucky with the weather once again as it was a lovely sunny day. A grand total of £128.80 was donated by very grateful, if at times frazzled parents, and this will be sent to the MU holiday fund for parents and families who cannot afford to go away on holiday but who desperately need a break.

We had a wonderful day and met many friendly people who were thankful for our services. Hopefully we will be able to return to our marquee next year.

Carole Elliott (who also supplied the photo)

Fiddle Quilts at the Cedars - Tuesday 17th June

On Tuesday 17th June Dorothy Wood and I paid a visit to the Cedars Care Home in Holmes Chapel in order to present the Fiddle Quilts the MU members had made at one of their evening meetings.

Michelle Carter (one of our members who works at the Care Home) was there to meet us and she gave the quilts to some of the residents to have a try with them and to have their photos taken using them.

It was lovely to see so many faces that we recognised and some of our past members who now live there. Photos were taken and we had a chat with some of the residents.
Many thanks to Michelle who allowed us to donate our handiwork to the Cedars, and we hope we can visit again soon.

Carole Elliott (who also supplied the photos)

MU Strawberry Supper - Tuesday June 10th

We held our annual Strawberry Supper on Tuesday evening to which all our MU Partners and Deanery Branches of MU were invited. About 90 people attended and it was a wonderful friendly evening. We started with a Logo quiz to keep everyone occupied whilst people were still arriving, and whilst eating the strawberry scones with cream and cakes, Rod Pickles’ quiz was delivered to each table – this was the serious part of the evening! There were 40 questions of which somehow the Henbury table got 36 correct answers.


After second, third and fourth helpings of scones and cakes, plus tea and coffee we found out the answers to the quiz and held our raffle. There were prizes donated by all of our MU members, so this took some time, but meant that every table won something. The evening finally came to an end at about 9.30 and a good time was had by all (or so they all said as they went home!)

I really would like to thank the whole band of MU members who turned up to help us set out tables, put the cream and strawberries on the scones, made and served the teas and coffees, ‘manned’ the book stall, raffle and Bring and Buy, and made all the table decorations. Also those members who magically cleared up, washed up and put everything away before we realised what had happened.

We raised an amount of £374.24, which is going to be donated to the MU Overseas Wheels Appeal fund.

Carole Elliott (who also supplied the photos)

 9th May 2014 - Visit to Green Room Theatre in Wilmslow

On Friday May 9th MU members were invited to go and see a special performance of ‘The Theft’ by Eric Chappell (of ‘Rising Damp’ fame). 6 of us were able to attend and it was very good night out. The theatre was lovely, the play was excellent and very funny, the cast was very professional, and the price of the ticket even included a glass of wine in the interval!
We all bought raffle tickets and the prizes were very good – 2 of our members won three prizes between them!!
We all really enjoyed the experience and would certainly recommend visiting the Green Room theatre again if we got the chance. 
Read more about the Green Room on their website here
Carole Elliott

16th April 2014 Meeting

22 members appeared at this afternoon’s meeting to hear about Sheila Buckley’s ‘Life as a Journalist’.
Sheila began by telling us about how she became to be a receptionist for the Knutsford Guardian after her first husband died and then was asked to write a column for the newspaper. She was able to write about anything! Her sons started to complain that people recognised them in the street and knew all about them as their Mum was writing what we would now call a ‘Blog’. This must have been successful as she was then asked to write a monthly page for the newspaper. She read out some of the articles she had written – you never know what talents you have in the midst of your community! What Sheila was writing about was life and what it meant to her – having the strength to carry on after tragedies in her life, learning how to cope with the bad times, and the importance of prayer. She was described as ‘The woman who speaks from the heart about what matters in life’.

Sheila was also lucky enough to have been able to have some amazing travels around the world, such as South America, New Zealand and South Africa, and to be able to write about her experiences in her monthly page. 

It was a wonderful insight into Sheila’s life as a journalist and showed that you never know which path your life is going to take, often in very unexpected ways.
Carole Elliott

8th April 2014 Meeting

At our evening meeting Dorothy Wood performed a wonderful demonstration on easy-to-make puddings. 

She showed us how to make a mascarpone lime torte, an Eton Mess and a Black Forest Affogata!

We watched very quietly as she made everything look so easy and produced 3 lovely puddings. The Eton Mess was a combination of cream, meringues and raspberries mixed in with raspberry puree. The Affogata was the most interesting one with a shortbread biscuit base, topped with pitted cherries, then broken chocolate with ice cream on top and then to finish off, grated chocolate on top of that. If that wasn’t enough then a strong coffee was poured over it all! (Recipes from Dorothy Wood) We were then lucky enough to get to taste them all – some of us decided to try them altogether and some even went up for seconds and thirds!

I think it was a very successful evening and we were certainly concentrating so hard on what was happening that we kept very quiet!
Carole Elliott

December 2013 Meetings

Afternoon meeting: Tuesday 18th December

This afternoon’s meeting was made all the better by the appearance of the Hermitage School choir coming to sing for us. They do this on an annual basis but this year the meeting had to be moved to the 18th as the choir had other commitments on the 11th. This unfortunately meant that a group of Afternoon members couldn’t attend, but it also meant that others who don’t normally attend could do so.

The children sang a medley of Christmas songs including ‘On the First Day of Christmas’ with all the actions. They really seemed to enjoy themselves and made us sing ‘We Wish You a merry Christmas’ to them at the end.
It was a wonderful afternoon, with tea and mince pies for members after the children had left to return to school. The children were all given a bag of sweets to take back with them.

MU Deanery Advent Service: Tuesday 3rd December

It was St. Luke’s MU’s turn to hold the Deanery Advent Service in our church this year. We met with Canon Ron a few weeks before and he was so well–organised we knew we need not worry about it.

We met with our usual obstacles (or so it seems lately!) in that we couldn’t serve the tea and mince pies afterwards in the Church Hall as the Ladies Probus group were holding their Christmas party and always had their meetings on that Tuesday – so could we change our date? Well, it was the Deanery who organised dates etc and not us, so no not really. So it was decided to serve tea and mince pies at the back of Church instead. This meant carrying tables, urns, kettles, mugs etc etc over from the Church Hall in the morning and getting to Church early in the afternoon to set it all up properly. It was only when some MU members from other branches turned up at 1.30 that we began to worry somewhat as we had told everyone 2.30. It appeared that a couple of branches had been told 2.00pm, but fortunately they were prepared to sit around and chat until others turned up.

By 2.30 over 50 MU members had arrived for the Service. Canon Ron presented a lovely Eucharist Service on the theme of New Beginnings as Advent is the beginning of the new Church year and at the end he ordered everyone to stay in their seat while we served them tea and mince pies – imagine the bun fight it would have been with over 50 ladies fighting over the drinks and food at the back of Church! Dorothy and I breathed a sigh of relief when it was over as we knew we would not have to organise this again for another five years and this time it hadn’t been snowed off as in previous years.
Everything went well in the end, as it usually does and everyone enjoyed the service. We would like to thank all those who helped before the service to transport everything over and set up, and all those very kind people who helped to clear up afterwards.

Carole Elliott and Dorothy Wood

MU Christmas meal at the George and Dragon
MU Christmas Meal 3Dec13

At this time of year our evening group always goes out for a Christmas meal – usually at the George and Dragon because the food is always good and we don’t have to drive!

There were 17 of us altogether, plus unfortunately 2 other ladies were unable to come as they were ill. The food was excellent and there were no complaints – only the mystery of Graham’s disappearing beef!! It is always an opportunity to catch up with others as we don’t always get chance at meetings, and also it is lovely to welcome members from our afternoon meetings and catch up with them too.

The evening went very well, we all exchanged our ‘Prayer Partner’ presents and everyone went home well-fed.

Carole Elliott

Joining the Mothers' Union

  • If you are interested in joining us, please speak to Carole: 01477 533882 or Dorothy: 01477 533704 to find out more.



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.