One of the oldest Mothers’ Union branches in Clogher Diocese, St. Macartan’s Cathedral Clogher MU Branch celebrated their 120th anniversary with a Service of Thanksgiving on Sunday, 14 April.

The service in St. Macartan’s Cathedral, Clogher, was led by the Reverend Olivia Downey assisted by the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Reverend Dr. Ian Ellis.

Hymns were led by Murley Silver Band, as well as organist Mrs. Diane Simpson and the PSNI Ladies Choir.

The sermon was preached by the Rector, the Rev. Olivia Downey.

Among those attending were Mrs June Butler, All-Ireland President of the Mothers’ Union and representatives from branches across Clogher Diocese. She brought greetings from the Trustees of the All-Ireland Mothers’ Union.

She said that since Clogher MU was formed, there has been much singing of hymns in Clogher Cathedral and members have experienced faith, joy, sorrow and love for Christ.

She referred to the Mothers’ Union in Ireland this year leading festivals of hymn singing to raise funds for their project “Mums in May". Events are held every three years to help build up the funds for this project beginning in 2018 with May tea parties, followed in 2021 with three 7kms walks in each diocese.

To date, around £300,000 has been raised for projects locally and also worldwide.

Mrs. Butler went on to refer to the founding of Mothers’ Union by Mary Sumner in 1876.

A short history of Clogher MU was outlined at the service by Branch Leader, Mrs Lynn Winslow. She said that in its founding year, there was no border, no votes for women and most people got around on horse and trap. She said that over the 120 years, many of its members gave extraordinary long service The banner of Clogher Cathedral MU was carried by Lynn Winslow, Branch Leader and the Clogher Diocesan MU banner was carried by Lettie Coulter.

Bible readings were by Mrs Irene Boyd and Mrs Pat Scott with prayers led by Charleen Giles, Ann Graham and Sharon Fannin.

The 120th anniversary cake was cut by two of the longest-serving members of the branch, Mrs Mary Bailey and Mrs Kathleen McKeown with a combined membership of 104 years.

The hymns were; “Tell out, my Soul,” “King of Kings,” “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “In Christ Alone” and “O Lord my God!”