Thought for the week 26th March; Mothering Sunday

This Sunday (27th) is Mothering Sunday; “Mother’s day” as greeting card makers usually put it. Whatever we call it, it is usually a time when we remember mothers, especially our own. This is good, especially if it is done remembering that the relationship between mother and child may have been difficult for some. But there is another aspect that is often neglected. Before Mothering Sunday ever became a celebration of mothers, it was a time when people remembered the place they came from and in particular the parish church they attended. This was their “mother church”, and, at its best, it was the place where small communities would come together; the people who attended that would be part of the wider, extended family to all the children growing up together. So Mothering Sunday was a recognition that individuals were part of something more than immediate family. Now the parish church has largely lost that role, but there is an important truth that still holds; we are more than individuals; we have connections with each other. As refugees pour out of Ukraine, from Syria and the Middle East, as our food banks creek under the strain and the cost of living rockets, we need to remember we are not just related to our immediate family.