‘Everyone is welcome at Mother’s Day service – and your story matters’

Vicky and Jean-Remy Duboc, who have organised the Mothers Day Runaways service
Vicky and Jean-Remy Duboc, who have organised the Mothers Day Runaways service

By the Rev Sally Davenport, team rector of Holy Trinity with St Columba, Fareham

Lots of families will be marking Mother’s Day on Sunday, March 31 in some special way.

However, for many, it can be a painful day for various reasons. Circumstances may make them feel like they want to run away and hide under the duvet. 

That might be the case for you: perhaps you’ve lost a child, or perhaps you would dearly have loved the chance to nurture a child but it hasn’t worked out.

What about all those of us whose mums are no longer with us?

While we’re glad to be marking a day to say thank you to our mums, it‘s still a painful reminder of sadness and loss for many.

Mother’s Day actually originates in the early 1900s but for the Church, the tradition of Mothering Sunday dates back to medieval ages.

Then in Victorian times, servants ‘downstairs’ were given the day off to return to their villages, the church and their families. They would pick wild flowers on their way home to give to their mothers.

Visiting the church of their childhood was a reminder of the love, care and welcome that God gives to us all through Mother Church on earth.

Our churches continue to celebrate Mothering Sunday – thanking all those who nurture and care for us – and welcome many visitors.

This year, one of our neighbouring churches, St John’s, is holding a special service at 4pm for all Mother’s Day Runaways.

It’s an invitation to come and be with others who find the day sad for whatever reason.

A short service of prayer, with music, readings and an opportunity to pray, it offers a special time where each person can find the space to think their own thoughts, knowing they are not alone.

It’s the initiative of Vicky, a member of St John’s, with her husband Jean-Remy, whose experience means this day is difficult for them.

They hope that this day would provide a space to acknowledge those difficulties and bring some comfort to those who may find the day painful.

Do join them at St John’s Church, Fareham, from 4pm on March 31. Everyone is welcome, and your story matters.

St John’s Church is at 1a Upper St Michael’s Grove, Fareham. go to stjohnsfareham.org.uk.