think on, pray on, act on this
CHURCH MATTERS - MOTHERING SUNDAY
March 22nd is Mothering Sunday which dates back to the 16th century, when people returned to their mother church for a service which was held on Laetare Sunday. In this context, one's "mother church" was either the church where one was baptised, the local parish church, or the nearest cathedral (the latter being the mother church of all the parish churches in a diocese). Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone "a-mothering", although whether this term preceded the observance of Mothering Sunday is unclear. In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. It was often the only time that entire families could gather together, since on other days they were prevented from doing so by conflicting working hours. Nowadays work practices have relaxed a bit!
I came across this delightful piece in Ronnie Blythes book – ‘Talking to the Neighbours’ -
A favourite walk for country people is often one which they don’t have to make a journey to before beginning it. Thus my favourite walk in Wormingford is that which leads to Wissington. I just step from the farmhouse to the track and tramp my way via familiar field paths to the river, cross the pontoon bridge and there I am, in Wissington. My place-name directory tells me that it is one of those villages which were founded by women, like the delightfully named Sible Hedingham. Wissington, they say, was ‘Wigsith’s Tun, or home’. Was it she perhaps who dedicated the Church to Mary the mother of Jesus? Anyway, here is a motherly spot only two miles from my home, a near thousand year old Church in probably, a near thousand year old farmyard. A more harmonious group of sacred and workaday buildings it would be hard to find. Their footings, like plants which share a particular soil, seem to be struck in the local clay. Old friends, long enough dead not to give grief, speak to me from tombstones. If it is a warm day I take a rest on a bench commemorating a young organist who was killed in the Western Desert, a schoolmaster's son.
If I have a sudden longing for the dream-inducing interior, I take a seat in the lovely, clumsy Norman nave to look again at the ancient wall paintings. They come and go in the damp plaster, apostles, angels, the Lord and his Mother, St Francis and the birds, a kind of old scrapbook made by children of faith……….
Why not come ‘a-mothering’ to your mother Church, St Andrew’s, this Mothering Sunday at 11:00 a.m. to a lovely service where we remember and thank our mothers. There is a little springtime posy for all mothers and also tea and coffee and biscuits afterwards.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Churchwarden Mike Crisp – 07747 623172
Churchwarden Richard Batterham - 01787 228172