Big Hymn Sings - All-Ireland Mothers' Union

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Big Hymn Sings

Connor Big Hymn Sing

Mothers’ Union members from all corners of Connor Diocese came to All Saints Parish Church, Antrim on Sunday 19th May, raising their voices in a fundraising “Big Sing” for the Mums in May Fund.

This fund, which supports MU projects all over Ireland, is replenished every third year, and this year a series of “Big Sings” are being held , starting in St Canice’s Cathedral Kilkenny in March and finishing in St Patrick’s Ballymena on Saturday 16th November , so that the fund will remain healthy and continue to support projects such as Away from it All holidays, holiday lunch clubs, equipment for those moving out of Women’s Refuges and food and fuel vouchers for families struggling to make ends meet.

The All Ireland President, Mrs June Butler, attended the event in Antrim,  as did the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev George Davison, and his wife Nadine. The sermon was given by the All Ireland Mothers’ Union Chaplain and Vicar of All Saints, the Ven. Dr. Stephen McBride. The lessons were read by Mrs Cathy Doig, Fundraising and Communications Unit Coordinator, and Mrs Alberta Miskimmin, Finance and Administration Unit Coordinator. The Diocesan President, Mrs Sally Cotter spoke about the importance of the Mums in May Fund in Ireland.

The hymns sung at each “Big Sing” were chosen by the members, and of course no Mothers’ Union event would be complete without a much needed cup of tea afterwards when everyone had the chance to catch up with friends old and new.

St. Colman's Church, Templeshanbo ~ Big Hymn Sing

A large congregation gathered in St. Colman's Church, Templeshanbo (Enniscorthy) for a "Big Hymn Sing" and to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Killanne/Killegney branch. It was a wonderful occasion with great singing led on the organ by Margaret Jacob.

The service was conducted by Revd. Canon Trevor Sargent who has pastoral care of the Union, which is currently vacant. We were delighted too to welcome our Diocesan Chaplain, Revd. Ger James, and Revd. Redfern who is providing holiday cover in the Union for the months of May and June. The special preacher was Janet Crampton, a former Rector's wife and Branch Leader. Lessons were read by Janet Rothwell and Mynie Leech, prayers were by Lily Warren and Margaret Jacob, while Margaret James, Branch Leader, gave a brief history of Mothers' Union and the Killanne/Killegney Branch.

Long service certificates and flowers were presented to Joan and Iris during the service who have been enrolled for 60 & 58 years, and they also cut the celebration cake later on in the hall. We were blessed with a lovely fine day and everyone enjoyed refreshments in the parish hall after the service.
Mums in May Big Sing - Rosscarbery Cathedral

A wonderful Big Sing Service was held in Rosscarbery Cathedral in the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne & Ross on Saturday April 27th.

Thank you to Ross Union of Parishes and the local MU branch for their welcome, to Rev Ivan Ruiters our preacher, to Eunice Jeffers, our organist,
June Butler, All Ireland President and especially to Dean Cliff for his help in organising and leading our worship.

Our amazing Joyce was at the Big Sing today. She has been a member for 74 years. What a record!

It was so good to get together. Thank you also to those who stayed on for our short council meeting.
Derry & Raphoe Big Hymn Sing

Members of the twelve different branches in the Omagh and Strabane Mothers' Union areas were joined by women from elsewhere in the Diocese and local clergy at the latest 'Big Hymn Sing' in Lislimnaghan Parish Church.The colorful service – which was part of MU's 'Mums in May' initiative – was led by the Rector of Cappagh and Lislimnaghan, Rev Canon Derek Quinn, who was joined by the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Andrew Forster.

During the service, Diane White from Strabane MU led prayers for the work and witness of Mothers' Union and for the work of each of its units: action and outreach; faith and policy; finance and central services; and fundraising and communication. "Encourage us to put our faith into action," she said, "praying, enabling and campaigning for social justice and political action, to improve welfare in our country and to prompt politicians to develop policy for fairness and integrity throughout the world.

The collection was taken up for the Mums in May Fund and will be used to support projects across Ireland and worldwide.
Clogher Diocese "Big Hymn Sing"

Clogher Diocesan Mothers’ Union held a Big Hymn Sing in St Macartin’s Cathedral ENNISKILLEN. Everyone was welcomed by Very Revd Kenny Hall, Dean of Clogher.

Mrs Heather Ellis, MU Diocesan President introduced the event and all were entertained to an evening of wonderful musical items. Donagh choir, conducted by Ethne McCord, and accompanied by Gerard Toal sang four pieces.  We were also entertained by Lynnea Hardy, Judith Anderson & Ellen Bloomfield, Jane McKinley, and Revd William Jeffrey. The Clogher Diocesan Mothers’ Union Trustees also sang two items, accompanied by Diane Simpson. Mrs June Butler. All Ireland MU President read the lesson.

Revd Dr Edwin Aiken (Curate at St Macartin’s) and Valerie McMorris  (Faith & Policy)  led the prayers. Revd. Rebecca Guildea gave an insight into a grant which she obtained from ‘Mums in May’ for the Sunday School children in the parishes of Garrison, Slavin, Belleek & Kiltyclogher. Bishop Ian Ellis gave a very interesting and appropriate reflection. The organist for all of the hymns and for some of the singers was Glenn Moore.

Heather Ellis expressed thanks to all who contributed to the evening.

All Ireland Mothers’ Union launched their triennial fundraising initiative for Mums in May 2024 with a wonderful “Big Hymn Sing” service in St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny on Saturday 2nd March. A large congregation from all over Ireland gathered to sing ten of their favourite hymns, which were chosen by members in every Diocese. The congregation joined in gusto with the singing of : “To God be the glory!”, “Dear Lord and Father of mankind”, “How deep the Father’s love for us”, “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah”, “Amazing grace”, “What a friend we have in Jesus”, “Blessed assurance”, “Be thou my vision”, “Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided” and finally that rousing hymn “O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder”.

The lesson was read by Mrs June Butler, All Ireland President of Mothers’ Union, and other members of the Trustee Board who participated in the service were, Iris Suitor, Patsy Devoy, Debbie Davidson, Clare Stewart, Kay Clarke, Sophia Dillon and Margaret Jacob. The Cathedral Choir sang Psalm19 and a Choral piece, “If ye love me”  by Thomas Talis.
Mothers’ Union is very grateful to The Very Revd. Stephen Farrell for all his help and assistance in facilitating the use of St. Canice’s Cathedral for this service. Our thanks to the Cathedral staff, to Dr Harry Meehan, Director of Music, and to members of the Cathedral Choir for leading the singing. We also express our appreciation to The Right Revd. Adrian Wilkinson for his address. Of course, no Mothers’ Union event would be complete without hospitality and we are very grateful to Kilkenny Mothers’ Union branch for coordinating a cup of tea after the service.

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