Column: Julia Tum, Mothers' Union branch leader - Join us and give happiness away for free

Mothers’ Union members Margaret, Olivia and Gillian.Mothers’ Union members Margaret, Olivia and Gillian.
Mothers’ Union members Margaret, Olivia and Gillian.
​What messages of encouragement and love have you seen as you walk outside or in your churches and community centres?

​I saw this lovely message outside a coffee and afternoon tea restaurant: “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a cup of tea, which is kind of the same thing, isn’t it?” It was such a fun message, I read it and left with a spring in my step. The other day I read a slogan on a mug which says “Nothing makes sense without a cup of tea”.

They are both lovely sentiments. Then I thought further… yes, happiness cannot be bought but it can be given. And lots of things do make sense when we believe and know that God loves us and supports us when we are sorrowful.

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Last week I passed a little church outside Grassington which had a board outside inviting passers-by to take a pre-cut ribbon and tie it onto the railings to say thanks for anything joyful that has happened in their lives and to remember times of sadness.

As members of our local communities and as members of a worldwide organisation like the Mothers Union we can do so much… we can give happiness to others freely and in abundance. If you want to join a branch of the MU near to you, contact me and I can let you know your nearest branch. Everyone is welcome. Mums and dads, single people, male or female.

I have often listed the activities which the MU is involved with, but just to reiterate a few, most branches meet monthly to have fun and chat together and often have a speaker to inform our members about one topic or another.

Our meetings in Rastrick start with a short Eucharist, and other branches across Huddersfield may start with a short prayer and Bible reading. Each branch is different, but in every case, we are inviting God into our midst and asking that he help guide us in our fun and chat so that we may be more able to know what activities we could be involved with in order to spread happiness with or without the tea and to make sense of all that we do!

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We are closely involved with New Hall Prison, in the mums and babies’ unit or at the tea bar in the visitors’ centre. We collect toiletries to give to those who are leaving the prison to help give them a start in their lives outside.

We also are involved with short cooking sessions enabling the ladies to have some fun and to share their cooking skills. The toiletries may go to a variety of other places including agencies who run refuges for those who have suffered domestic abuse and for refugees arriving in this country.

A few months ago, we embarked on a project knitting mittens for young children at local schools so that they don’t arrive with frozen hands. Would you like to help and have the pattern?!

We continue to support two caravans on the East Coast for families who are suffering from hardships and who have been referred and the caravans provide a much-needed break to get ‘away from it all’.

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We have regular contact with a new apartment building for the over 50s and go in to run short craft sessions and to lead some hymn singing. This is very much looked forward to by those who live there!

So, join us and give happiness away for free! Contact me on [email protected]