Mothering Sunday falls on the 26th of March. Every year I seem to undertake a rearguard campaign to remind countless numbers of people that I come into contact with that it is NOT Mother’s Day!
Now before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusions, I need to tell you that on the window sill in the Vicarage kitchen there are several photographs of women who continue to play a significant role in life of my family . They include Alison and her Mother, my Mother, my Father’s cousin Aileen from Australia, Mother Teresa. my Great Aunt Edith from Scotland. At the centre of them is the beautiful statue of The Virgin and Child that was kindly bought for me by two very old friend (though not in age!). In the left hand corner of the window is a card with the words from Psalm 121, “I lift my eyes to the quiet hills in the wake of a busy day; as green hills stand in a dusty land so God is my strength and stay”. The window is a strictly no men allowed area – created by me!
Mothering Sunday is above all else a reminder of our belonging to Mother Church. The language is important and conveys the idea of nurture, life, protection and growth and the symbolism is obvious. In the Anglican Communion the Church of England is referred to as the Mother Church – the root from which all world wide Anglican Churches have grown. A couple of the people in my photographs were not blessed with children; my great Aunt who was a wonderful Christian person and who was like a grandmother to me and of course Mother Teresa. But both of them, from very different denominations, grew in the Faith and knew the support that was to be had in belonging to Church.
Inevitably we will thank God for those who bore us into the world on Mothering Sunday. But it also provides all of us with an ideal opportunity to reflect upon why Church is so important to us and the many blessings that we have received in our belonging to her..