Mothers' Union celebrated at Minster

Bishop of Leeds, Rt Rev Nick Baines paid tribute to the Mothers' Union at the special Commissioning Service held at Halifax Minster.

The service, which was also supported by four Episcopal Area Bishops, celebrated the Mothers’ Union members of the newly-formed West Yorkshire and The Dales Diocese, commissioned officers and chaplains for a three year term.

In his address, Bishop Nick said the new Diocesan Mothers’ Union was a model of how the transition, from the previous three Dioceses of Ripon and Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield to a structure that met the needs of the new Diocese, could be effectively managed.

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Jean Thurman of Halifax was commissioned to serve for three years as the first president of the new diocese before the Episcopal area presidents Jean Bailey, Elaine Swinhoe, Mary Thorpe, Josie Birley and Eileen Warburton were also commissioned along with the general trustees, and the chaplains.

Jean has been an active member of Mothers Union for 35 years since her two sons were small and has held several roles.

She said: “This is an exciting time as we begin working together with almost 3000 members.

“One of our aims in 2016 is to look forward in the larger Diocese, uniting members across the whole area, continuing to uphold and strengthen family life, holding on to what we do well, seeking to ‘grow’ local membership and support the mission of the church.”

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Jean has been an active member of Mothers Union for 35 years since her two sons weresmall and has held several roles.

She added: “2016 is a year of Celebration for us for other reasons besides the formation of the new Diocesan Mothers’ Union. The organisation began in 1876 and is celebrating 140 years of faithful service by members.

Vicar of Halifax, Rev Canon Hilary Barber said: “It’s a great privilege for the Minster tohost such an important occasion. It was even more special that the new president comes from Halifax.”