The Parish of Ponteland

Mothers' Union

A new Mothers` Union Branch for Ponteland was officially opened on Monday February 24th 2014, and the first of the new group has been very successful. It is approx. 50 years since the last branch here was closed. The M.U. as it is affectionately known, is a worldwide christian organisation with more than 4 million members in 83 countries. They are not all mothers or even women! Its aim and purpose is to support marriage and family life and to reach out within communities at home and abroad to people who are isolated or in need of help. We campaign to ensure protection for children, we promote gender equality, women’s education and speak out on issues such as domestic abuse, this and much more.

This new branch reflects the Mothers` Union operating in the 21st century. It is open to anyone, male and female, young or not so young who is baptised and supports the aim and objectives of this worldwide organisation. These all centre around support for marriage and family life in all its aspects. Our hallmark will be “flexibility” as we need to accommodate the wide ranging ages and commitments of our members. Our monthly meeting day and time will vary from month to month, sometimes having an in-house meeting sometimes going out to experience the faith and work of others, details below.

If anyone is interested in putting faith into positive action (Mothers` Union is involved in many projects at home and abroad) please contact Sylvia Hickey for further information; phone:- 0191 236 6450 email:- This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Our branch aims to be of value to our local Churches, our community here in Ponteland and also in the work the organisation does both nationally and internationally.

Mothers` Union Programme 2017

Monday 24th Apr, Mrs Jennie Jones will lead a discussion on a current (and possibly contentious) issue, 7pm Hall Committee Room.

Monday 22nd May.  Speaker, Mike Johnson from “Street Pastors”, 7pm in Church Hall.

Saturday 10th June. Quiet Day at Alnmouth Friary. Leader Rev Lorna Beadle. Time T.B.C.

Monday 24th July. Visit to the Buddhist Monastery at Harnham nr Belsay. Time T.B.C.

Wednesday 9th August. Mary Sumner Day, Deanery Service of Celebration, at 7pm in St Mary`s Church Ponteland

Monday 25th September. Christopher Million, Speaks on behalf of “MAF”, Flying for Life, reaching out to people in remote places, 7pm in Church Hall.

Monday 23rd October. Rev Christopher Groocock, talks on life as an Army Chaplain, 2pm in Church hall.

Monday 20th November. Packing Christmas Boxes for the disadvantaged, and preparing for December visit to the Manor 2pm in Church Hall.

Monday 11th December. Carols and Readings for Christmas at Ponteland Manor Care Home, at 2.30pm

Additional Dates

Thursday 25th May.  Lindisfarne Archdeaconry Festival, The Great Hall Hexham Abbey, 10.30am Speaker Margaret Sentamu. 2pm service in the Abbey.

Saturday 15th July. Diocesan Communion at 11am St George`s Cullercoats.

28th to 30th September. Annual General Meeting in Edinburgh. Service at St Mary`s Cathedral Friday 29th at 5.30pm. Meeting itself at the International Conference Centre 10.30am-3.30pm on Saturday 30th.  A coach will go from this Diocese.  Tickets are required for all the above events.

Friday 6th October.  Diocesan Council, 6.30 for 7pm at St John`s Kingston Park.

Friday 1st December.  Deliver Christmas Gift Boxes to Church House 10 for 10.30am with coffee and mince pies.

Non-members are always welcome at all our meetings, please do come along if anything is of special interest to you. For any further information please contact Sylvia.


Visit to a Buddhist Monastery

In July Ponteland Mothers` Union branch visited the Buddhist Monastery near Belsay in Northumberland.  Some husbands plus interested Church members made a party of 20 who were met by Buddhist monk Punnyo who was to be our guide.


We sat on chairs at the back of their Temple facing the “altar”, a simple table with candles and behind it the Buddha, sitting in the pose we most easily recognise.  The main area in front of this was empty as the monks sit or kneel for their meditations but there were markers, some covered in gold leaf, encircling this area which is where ordinations take place. Punnyo took us through a typical day, the 5am bell wakes them, meditation begins the day followed by breakfast. The morning consists of work interspersed by meditation with the main meal being taken at 11.30am.

Buddhist monks do not handle money and depend entirely on alms to survive (produce not money), I was embarrassed to realise that, due to our lack of knowledge, we had come empty-handed.  However we could put this right after the visit. Put very simply Buddhist meditation differs from ours in both execution and understanding. They concentrate thought entirely on the body, working towards a complete awareness of the mind and the inner being, leading to a state of calm acceptance.

Our visit proved fascinating and extremely interesting: I feel that gaining knowledge of other beliefs is vital to promote greater understanding and tolerance.

Sylvia Hickey


M.U. members visit a local Sikh Temple.

M.U. members at Winchester for the 140 years of Mothers' Union celebration.

Blessing of M.U. Christmas boxes destined for The People's Kitchen, WERS and 'Walking With'.

Christmas carols and readings by our M.U. in Ponteland Manor Care Home

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