Let's widen the image and reality of motherhood

'Motherhood and apple pie' has entered our language as a statement about something so obvious that it hardly warrants serious consideration.

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner SUS-160129-112502001
The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner SUS-160129-112502001

As high street retailers gear themselves up for Mothering Sunday, I sense a similar devaluing of the meaning of this vital role and identity.

On a recent visit to West Africa, a link Chichester diocese has had for over 50 years, I saw at first hand some of the consequences of poverty for mothers who bear the primary responsibility of providing for a family’s daily needs.

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Hours spent at the side of a dusty road, selling fruit, water, ground nuts – any basic commodity, yielded insubstantial rewards for mothers and their children. This is heroic, humble, dedicated, work, aspects not generally included in UK marketing.

Christians honour these amazing women when some venerate Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. She, too, was not rich or powerful, without shelter, a refugee with a tiny child, and a woman of stubborn and lively faith.

So let’s widen the image and reality of motherhood and take it more seriously.

Cash is well spent on thanking our own mothers. But cash sent to support mothers in the poorest, disease-threatened parts of our global community would also be a great way to honour your mum this Mothering Sunday.

Mothering Sunday

This coming Sunday, churches of all denominations across Sussex will be holding special services to honour mothers, and all those who have cared and provided for us. Flowers are often distributed and prayers said for Mothers both local and global. Look out for local information from your local church this coming Sunday, you’d be most welcome.

40 Acts

Lent is over half-way through now, but there’s still opportunities to use the time well. 40 Acts is a community setup by a number of Christian organisations, and supported by a number of local churches, helping people to ‘give back, do good and live generously.’ Each day has a challenge designed to give something back to others. You can find out more and take the challenge at: www.40acts.org.uk.

Church in a pub

Something a little different – The Point Church in mid-Sussex is holding their ‘Church in a pub’ at the Woolpack in Burgess Hill on March 13th from 7.30pm. A great opportunity to experience a worshiping community in a totally different environment, but expressing the same faith.