Ferns - Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union

Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union
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Ferns Area

We welcome Naomi Besanson as the new Vice President Faith & Policy. Naomi was commissioned at the festival service in Old Leighlin (2019).

Naomi agreed to take over from Lesley Bayley who has been elected as our new Diocesan President. In recent elections Naomi was elected as VP for Faith & Policy for the next three years.

We wish Naomi every blessing as she takes over this new role in Mothers' Union.

Naomi is a member of Ballycanew/Leskinfere/Monamolin Mothers' Union.
Ferns Area Meeting ~ Spring 2019

The Ferns Area Meeting took place in The Rectory, Park, Wexford on Monday 25th March. The meeting was very kindly hosted by Canon Arthur Minion, his wife, Susan, and the members of Wexford Branch of Mothers' Union. A Branch member welcomed us to Wexford for the meeting. Naomi Besanson, the newly appointed VP for Ferns Area, thanked everyone for coming and began the evening with a short service for Lady Day. Naomi then introduced the guest speaker for the evening, The Venerable Ruth Elmes.

Archdeacon Elmes gave a very moving account of her "faith journey" ~ from being brought up in a Rectory, training to be a nurse and eventually being called for ordination. In a life that was tinged with much sadness she spoke with great dignity and recounted many humerous little stories. We are very grateful to Archdeacon Elmes for taking time out of her busy schedule to address the meeting.

Following the meeting we were served delicious refreshments. Our thanks to Naomi for all of the thought and care she put into arrangements for the meeting. It was lovely to have the MU Enterprise stall there and our thanks to Phyllis Foot and Vivien Black for travelling down to Wexford. They had a lovely array of cards and gifts on the stall.
Photographs from the the Autumn  Area Meeting 2019








Ferns Area Meeting ~ Autumn 2019

The Ferns Area Meeting took place in The Church Institute, Enniscorthy on Monday 14th October. The meeting was very well attended and began with a short service led by Naomi Besanson, VP Faith & Policy with responsibility for Ferns Area. The lesson and prayers were led by Janet Crampton from Enniscorthy Branch.

Claudia Kidd, on behalf of Enniscorthy Branch, welcomed everyone to the Church Institute. Naomi thanked everyone for coming and then introduced the guest speakers for the evening, two of the support nurses from The Hope Cancer Support Centre in Enniscorthy, Bridget Moran and Mary O'Halloran.

Bridget and Mary gave a very interesting and informative talk, telling all present of the various support services that are provided by the centre, all of which are available free of charge ~ counselling, reflexology, art therapy, massage, prosthesis and bra fitting, lymphoedema service, transport etc. They also spoke of the value of volunteers who help out both in the Centre itself and in The Hope Charity Shop on Millpark Road, Enniscorthy. All gathered were amazed at the number of services available and the fact that the Centre is so dependent on charitable donations. 80% of the funding required to provide the level of support currently available comes from donations and fund raising events. We are very fortunate to have this facility in Enniscorthy which provides such much needed and wonderful support to cancer sufferers and their families.

The Hope Cancer Support Centre Website is:  www.hopesupportcentre.ie

Bridget and Mary very kindly stayed on after their talk to speak to people individually. We all enjoyed a lovely tea after their talk. Our thanks again to Enniscorthy Branch for hosting the meeting. We are also very grateful to Phyllis Foot and Vivien Black for bringing along the Enterprise stall. They had a lovely array of cards, books and gifts available to purchase on the evening. Our thanks to Naomi for all of the thought and preparation she put into a very enjoyable evening.


Institution of Revd. Ian Cruickshank to
Union of Parishes

What's on in Ferns Area

Dates for your Diary

16 Days of Activism Against
Gender Based Violence

*Sunday 8th December @ 4p.m.*
(Note Change of Date)
Christ Church, Waterford
"Souls of Our Shoes Exhibition"

Picture Gallery of Activities in The Ferns Area











Below are slideshows of photographs from

Gorey/Hollyfort Mothers' Union
Well's House, Gorey

Bunclody Mothers' Union
The Big Sing & Altamont Gardens

Ardamine/Kilnamanagh Mothers' Union
Mums in May Tea Party

Slideshow 2 ~ Bunclody Mothers' Union
Outing & Mums in May Prayer Walk

Slideshow 3 & 4 ~ Killanne/Killegney MU
Altamont Gardens & Mums in May

Slideshow 5 ~ Gorey/Hollyfort
Afternoon Tea & Preparing for Cookbook

Branch News from Ferns Area

Ardamine/Kilnamanagh: Founded 1964

May 2018 ~ Ardamine/Kilnamanagh Branch held a tea party hosted by Violet Walsh in her home to raise funds for Mums in May. There was a wonderful array of food and all who attended enjoyed catching up with friends old and new. See some photographs from the tea party in the slide show at the bottom of the page on your left.

In January 2019 Iris Checkett spoke to the Branch about her life as a nurse.

The special speaker for the February meeting which will take place on Thursday 28th Feb. in Kilnamanagh Old School @ 7.30p.m. is the Revd. Nicola Halford. She will talk about her life journey to ordination and beyond.

Ballycanew/Leskinfere/Monamolin: Founded 1945
The Branch had a very successful tour of the local nursing homes in early October when they delighted the residents of Middleton and Valentia Nursing Homes with the singing of harvest hymns.

The Branch also had a vey busy and productive time in Leskinfere Parish Hall when Mothers' Union members gathered to make school bags for the Team Hope Shoe Box Appeal.

In November the Branch hosted a training session organised by Joan Blake, Training Officer, on the use of PowerPoint and Excel.

The new Officers elected for 2019 are: Chairperson ~  Naomi Besanson, Secretary ~ Mabel Besanson and Treasurer ~ Eluzabeth Johnston

The Branch held their very successful lunch in aid of the Overseas Fund at the beginning of March 2019. Well done to everyone who puts so much effort into this occasion and the Branch really appreciates all the support they receive from members and people in the locality for this Annual Fundraiser.

Bunclody Branch: Founded 1941

On 20th November 2018 the Branch was joined by some members from Killanne/Killegney Branch when Canon Payne gave a very interesting PowerPoint presentation on St. Margaret of Scotland. The evening concluded a cup of tea and a chat.

In February the guest speaker at the meeting was Olga Rothwell from Beechdale Garden Centre. Olga gave the well attended meeting some very interesting gardening tips and she brought along a great display of Spring shrubs and bulbs.

Women's world Day of Prayer Service in Bunclody
March 2019

The Branch held a very successful outing on 23rd May visiting Johnstown Garden Centre, The Botanic Gardens, shopping in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and back to the Talbot Hotel in Carlow for a beauriful meal.
On Saturdeay 15th June members had a weaklk through Myshall followed by a service in The Adelaide Memorial Church

Enniscorthy Branch: Founded 1904

The Opening Service for 2018/2019 was held in St. Mary's Church on Sunday 18th November.

On Tueday 27th November Ms Caroline Steacy gave a demonstration of Christmas Crafts.

Enniscorthy members decorated a Christmas Tree for the Christmas Tree Festival 2018 in St. Mary's Church. The Christmas party was held in The Church Institute.

Enniscorthy & Killanne/Killegney Branches held a joint meeting in February. Pearl Olsen, Unit Coordinator for Action & Outreach, gave a very interesting and informative talk on the work of Mothers' Union overseas.

Elizabeth Johnston, Unit Co-ordinator for Faith & Policy led a lovely "Thoughtful and Thankful" evening in the parish room in the Rectory in March.

The Mothers' Union provided the refreshments after the United 5th Sunday service in St. Mary's Church on Mothering Sunday.

Ferns: Founded 1932
Ferns Branch remains active supporting many worthy causes throughout the year ~
  • Sewing School Bags to go overseas,
  • supporting the annual Shoe Box Appeal organised by Team Hope  
  • collecting toiletries etc for distribution to the Women's Refuge as part of the Vigils for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

Gorey/Hollyfort Branch: Founded 1932

Members went Carol Singing in both Middleton & Valentia Nursing Homes on 8th December 2018.

The Branch held their Christmas Dinner in the Eco Restaurant on 9th December 2018.

The AGM of the Branch for the new 2019 season took place on Monday 7th January and the following Officers were elected: Chairperson ~ Mrs Elvina Spencer, Secretary ~ Mrs Tania Hanan and Treasurer ~ Mrs Dorothy Stedmond. They were commissioned at a service in Christ Church Gorey on 20th January in a service which was led by the newly elected Diocesan President, Lesley Bayley and the preacher was the Rector and Diocesan Chaplain, Canon Mark Hayden.

The Branch held their annual outing to the Christmas Pantomine on Monday 14th January.

The Branch held an Open Meeting on Monday 18th February and the guest speaker was Sheila Haskins, a counsellor and psycho-therapist, who spoke on  the theme of Mindfulness. Mrs Elvina Spencer opened the meeting and welcomed everyone. Sheila gave a very interesting tralk and taught everyone about noticing and being aware of our surroundings and learning to relax. Lesley Bayley, the Diocesan President, close the meeting by leading everyone prayers, the M others' Union preayer and the Grace.

Some members from trhe Branch attended the Holy Communion service in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublkin on Thursday 4th April.

Lesley Bayley will be leading the Branch in a prayerful evening on 15th April.

The Branch combined their outing with the Diocesan Festival Service on 29th May visiting The Arboretum in Leighlindridge and enjoyed a lovely meal in The Railway House. They were joined by mebers of Ballycanew/Leskinfere/Monamolin Branch on the tour. They were delighted to have the Bishop, The Right Revd. Michael Burrows and June Butler, All-Ireland President of Mothers' Union join them for the meal in The Railway House.

The Branchhad a very successful and delicious Luncheon Tasting on Saturday 12th October. Many thanks to Mr William Stedmond who gave up 2 days to prepare and to take photographs of our entries for the upcoming publication of the new Mothers’ Union Cookbook which will be launched in March 2020. There are many potential Irish Mary Berrys among us!!

On Monday 21st October we  gathered together to partake in a traditional afternoon tea/ show and tell, where we learnt of the history of the afternoon tea and the etiquette involved- contrary to popular belief when holding the teacup the pinkie should always be kept down!! We all dressed in our best finery in honor of the occasion!

We will be hosting an Open Evening on November 18th and our speaker will be from the Wexford Women’s Refuge. All our welcome to attend.

Killanne/Killegney Branch: Founded 1944

Killanne/Killegney Branch held their Opening Service for the new season on Tuesday 13th November 2018 in Killegney Church.
The service was led by the rector, Revd. Ian Cruickshank.

The Branch held their Christmas Get-Together in The Alamo Restaurant, Riverside Park Hotel on Monday 10th December. Everyone enjoyed a lovely evening of good food, chat and exchanging small gifts. Our thanks to all of the Committee who put so much thought and effort into arrangements for the evening ~ especially Joan who organised some interesting challenges for us all.

The January 2019 meeting was held at Farm View, Clonroche and Lorna Swan gave a very interesting talk about Verra Essential Oils.

The Branch held a very enjoyable craft afternoon on Monday 11th March. Joan Blake & Florrie Dixon showed us how to create beautiful hand crafted cards. It was a lovely afternoon of fellowship, creativity and chat. There was also a very successful "Bring & Buy" Sale.

In June the Branch had a very enjoyable visit to the garden of Philip Hollwey. Philip gave very generously of his time to bring us around his beautiful garden and answer questions about the various trees, shrubs and flowers on display. We also enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea on his lawn. Our thanks to Philip for hosting a wonderful afternoon. See a slideshow of photographs from the afternoon on the left of this page.

The Branch held a meeting in the rectory on Thursday 14th November. A representative from the Women's Refuge in Wexford attended the meeting and gave a very interesting talk on the refuge. Our thanks to Donna Cruickshank for hosting the meeting. The rectory was beautifully decorated for Christmas and we all had a very enjoyable, relaxing afternoon. Members brought along clothes, gifts and toiletries for the refuge.

New Ross/Fethard-on-Sea: Founded 1952
Congratulations to Bea Thorpe and her husband Brian who celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary during the year and they helped to cut the Celebration Cake during the Afternoon Tea Party to celebrate Mary Sumner Day at the home of Phyllis Grothier in early August 2017.

Olive Power from the Branch also organises the trip to General Meeting every. The 2019 meeting took place in Portsmouth and all the work Olive puts into organising travel and accommodation arrangements is greatly appreciated.

On 15th October 2018 New Ross/Fethard Branch hosted the Ferns Area Meeting. We were welcomed to New Ross by Olive Power. See report earlier on this web page.

Wexford Branch: Founded 1892

The Branch held their Opening Meeting for 2018/2019 on Thursday 22nd November when Mrs Francoise Davision was elected to succeed Susan Minion as Branch Leader and Mrs Edna Rothwell was elected as the new secretary. Ms Julie Grant continues in the role of Treasurer.

The Christmas "Get Together" took place in The Rectory, Park on 15th January. It was a very enjoyable occasion with delicious starters and desserts supplied by members and the majin course provided by Susan Minion.

The March meeting took place on 12th March and Revd. Conor O'Reilly spoke on "A journey in Vocation". The Branch are hosting the Ferns Area Meeting on Monday 25th March in The Rectory

The Branch very kindly hosted The Ferns Area meeting on Monday 25th March in The Rectory, Park. It was a very well attended meeting. (Report earlier on this page)

The April meeting took place in the rectory on Tuesday 9th April. The guest speaker was Mr Alan Potter  and he spoke about Camphill House where he worked for many years.

The Branch held their outing on 6th June visiting The Meadows Village Garden, Myshall, the Adelaide Memorial Church Myshall, Rathwood for lunch and shopping, Burton House Gardens with tour and dinner in The Step House, Borris.

The Branch held an opening service at the Rectory, Park on Tuesday 24thg September 2029 at 7.30p.m. The Rector, Canon Chancellor Arthur Minion, gave an illustrated talk with video footage on the causes of climate change and how we might better approach these matters. The Annual General Meeting of the branch took place after the service.
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