Mothers' Union: Money that is raised for the Christmas Appeal will be doubled!

Reflected autumn colours on the canal, by Julia Tum.Reflected autumn colours on the canal, by Julia Tum.
Reflected autumn colours on the canal, by Julia Tum.
​​How beautiful are the autumn colours on the trees just now. If I were an artist there wouldn’t be sufficient shades of orange, brown and red on my palette to do justice to Mother Nature – the colours are so vivid and glorious.

By Julia Tum, Mothers’ Union branch leader, St John the Divine, Rastrick

On the photo I took recently on a very cold weekend alongside the Calder and Hebble Navigation, the colours are doubled as they reflect back. We get double the joy for our senses.

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There is currently a scheme being led by the Mothers’ Union where any money that is raised for the Christmas Appeal will be doubled. Double the joy! Double the money for the MU savings and skills programmes in Tanzania to help individuals start their own businesses, increase their income, enhance women’s empowerment and independence.

The women can now count and handle money – enabling them to challenge any false prices charged at markets. Education is vital as a step in the right direction to end violence, overcome poverty, and tackle injustice. The Mothers’ Union has over four million members across 84 countries – a huge and influential organisation. And anything that we do in partnership with other organisations doubles the impact. Just like the autumn colours on the canal.

At the end of November, the Mothers’ Union joined with over 6,000 organisations across the world to raise awareness of, and call for an end to, gender-based violence and abuse in all forms and in all societies. By coming alongside communities, we can help end domestic abuse and support the victims and their families. Globally, an estimated 736 million women – almost one in three – have been subjected to physical and sexual partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their life.

Across the Leeds Diocese since the end of November there have been many events asking for a change in this situation. We know that this issue cannot be fixed overnight but we must not lose heart. Every life saved, every extra person who speaks out about this issue is a reason to reflect, celebrate and continue.

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In the Huddersfield Area there are exhibitions called the Souls of their Shoes at Halifax Minster and at St John’s Church in Rastrick. These exhibitions are very powerful and challenging. They highlight phrases that the women have cried out as they left their homes and are matched to a pair of shoes. There have been events in Bradford and Holmfirth and right up through Yorkshire to Ripon.

The Mothers’ Union also raises funds and becomes involved in projects providing two caravans in Filey for those families who have been referred by their doctor or social services and who would benefit from a break by the sea. We support women being discharged from prison who have got very few possessions and who welcome some household and personal items, but essentially, they are welcoming the love which is given behind the gifted items.

We also have fun and a great time together… we are out for our Christmas meal in January!

There is lots of time to reflect, double the fun, double the money, and double the support that anyone of us can give to others.