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On 15 March we celebrate Mothering Sunday, or Mother’s Day, as it has come to be known.I must admit that I prefer the traditional “Mothering Sunday”, because it reminds me that this day is very special indeed and that it is about much more than saying “thank you” to our Mums (although this is very important!).

Many years ago, Mothering Sunday would have been such a significant day in the year as it would have meant an extra day off work. Back in the days of “Downton Abbey” and earlier, most people would have had just half a day off a week and rarely a Sunday. On “Mothering Sunday”, they could return to their families, to their Mothers, and to their Mother Church.

In my short time in Dunmow and Barnston, I have met so many people who really value St Mary’s and St Andrew’s. It doesn’t matter how often people come to church; it’s their church, ready to care for them whenever they need care. To be able to step into their church, to be still, to light a candle; these moments are very precious. God is a “mothering God” and God wants our churches to be places where people are cared for and nurtured. That’s what a “Mothering Church” should be like.

Please do join us for our “All Age” Mothering Sunday service on Sunday 15 March at 10:30am. It will be a United Benefice Service for St Mary’s and St Andrew’s. There will be small posies of flowers to be blessed and given out to those who have shown us love and care. For many of us, this will mean our Mums, but it may just be that friends or other family members have shown us a particular kind of love too, so we give thanks for them all. We also give thanks for our “Mother Church” - whether that’s St Mary’s, St Andrew’s or elsewhere - and we re-commit to being a community of care and nurture.