Mother’s Union Group at Newbold 1914 – 2018
I have to thank Ena Johnson for sourcing the following article which was displayed in church as part of the exhibition ‘Newbold in World War 1’ held in 2014.
‘The Mothers Union was founded by Mary Sumner in 1876 in the Church of England parish of Old Alresford, near Winchester, where her husband was Rector. She wanted to bring mothers together to provide support for one another and be trained in motherhood, something which she saw as a vocation. Although ‘mothers meetings’ are recorded in the church magazine, it was not until early May 1914 that a group of ladies held a meeting at Newbold House, in order to form a local branch of the Mothers Union. Those present each agreed to work a district by taking out magazines and notices of meetings. In order that they could begin work, Fr. Cutlack arranged an admission service on Wednesday 27th May at 7.15pm. By the next meeting sixty names had been submitted for membership! They met regularly throughout the year. During 1915 many members attended weekly sewing meetings, making warm clothes and knitting for our troops. In 1916 they agreed to set apart Tuesdays in Lent for special prayers for the war. Branches gathered for festivals even during the war.’
The Newbold branch has now sadly, had to close. From over seventy members we have shrunk to four this year.
There are many reasons for this, mainly I feel, due to changing lifestyles over the years. In today’s world most young women work, together with raising their families. The spare time they have is used for family activities. Years ago women may have worked until they became parents and then stopped to concentrate on the business of motherhood.
The remaining four ladies have been most warmly welcomed into the Loundsley Green M.U. increasing their membership to twenty four. This is a more viable solution.
The banner so generously given by the Blanksby family, in memory of Dorothy, who ran the branch for twenty plus years, will remain in St. John’s Church where it is displayed for all to see.
Our Branch would like to give thanks to all who have supported us over the years, our Rectors, Fr. Nigel and recently Fr. Ben. Thank you also to Stuart Watkinson, our organist, who has played for us on many occasions; all the long standing members who for reasons of old age, infirmity or illness, can no longer attend meetings, and thanks too to our Vergers, previously Melvin, and now Steve who prepares the Parish Room for our meetings.
The end of an era.