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Church in Wales Governing Body: More work to do, says President of the Mothers’ Union

15 September 2023

Church in Wales

The Worldwide President of the Mothers’ Union, Sheran Harper

The Worldwide President of the Mothers’ Union, Sheran Harper

Mothers’ Union

THE Worldwide President of the Mothers’ Union (MU), Sheran Harper, led the prayers and gave the address at morning prayer on Wednesday. She warned, first, that she was about to tell “sensitive stories that might cut you deeply”.

The MU is giving high priority to raising awareness of domestic abuse. The President recounted her experience in Uganda with girls aged 12 to 16, all pregnant as a result of child marriage, “all victims and survivors of sexual, emotional, physical, and spiritual abuse in their homes”. She told of meeting a 12-year-old who was eight months pregnant and clutching a doll: “She was robbed of her childhood. How could she ever raise a child when she was a child herself?”

In Tanzania, she encountered a 14-year-old boy who had witnessed his father brutally chopping his mother to death. The father was now in prison. “Now, the Mothers’ Union is my mother; the church my family. I know what kind of man I should be when I grow up,” he told her.

These were “terrible acts, perpetuated in destroying families. Domestic abuse and injustice are closer to home than we imagined, and women and girls suffer most . . . but in our fractured world, boy children, too, are at risk,” she said.

“We are doing so much work already, but there is so much more to be done. We are making a difference because we have experienced the love of Christ in our life, and we cannot keep it to ourselves. We believe that He called us by name, and will see this to completion, even to the end of time.

“We have hope, a hope that only Jesus Christ can give. We must be driven to make a difference . . . in the deepest, darkest corners to do all we can to transform the lives of the frightened.”

The MU consulted 200,000 members worldwide, and agreed to make ending domestic abuse one of its top priorities, lobbying governments and holding them accountable at the UN. “As Christians, the time is now,” she told the meeting. “We’ve had our deliberations and discussions, and now we must see the right legislations put in place . . . the right priorities on every agenda.

“To choose not to take immediate action is to choose not to share the love of Jesus Christ.”

She concluded, “Today, I stand here to say, ‘Thank you, Mothers’ Union and the Church in Wales, for your unending prayers, love, and generosity. Thank you for making ending abuse a priority on your agendas, and for making God’s love evident in this Province.’

“We cannot do this alone. Together we must unite and together move to bring the domestic agenda forward . . . to a place where all are loved, valued, appreciated, respected, and given a chance to flourish.”

She asked to all to “stand with us” at the 16-day international campaign from 25 November to 10 December, nationally planned in Wales.

She concluded: “May our prayers continue to rise as incense to the heavens. May the Church keep the Holy Spirit at its centre.”

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