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.
Ferns Area Vigil 2018
The Ferns Area Vigil took place in St. Edan's Cathedral, Ferns on Saturday 24th November. The Service was well attended and led by our Ferns Diocese Vice-President, Lesley Bayley. Our thanks to Lesley for all of the care, thought and effort she put into preparing for the Vigil.

A representative from the Refuge in Wexford spoke to all present about the work of the Refuge and the urgent need for a newly purpose built buliding in Wexford. She said that plans have been drawn up for a new Refuge and it was hoped that building would commence in the very near future.

All were thanked for their support of the Refuge and she thanked everyone for their contributions of toiletries, toys and goods for those who use this important facility.

Following the Vigil Ferns Mothers' Union provided refreshments in the Chapter Room.


St Edan's Cathedral ~ Ferns


Institution of Revd. Ian Cruickshank to
Union of Parishes

Dates for your Diary

Latest News

Tuesday February 7th – The first annual Annabella Hayes Day, celebrating the founder of MU in Ireland.

Friday February 24th – Worldwide Meeting and Festival Service.

Tuesday April 25th – Spring Council in the Hoban Hotel Kilkenny.

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 ~ Elizabeth 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

In February 2109 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 beautiful meal.

On Saturday 15th June members had a walk through Myshall followed by a service in The Adelaide Memorial Church

The Branch started their new season for 2020 with a service held in St. Mary's Sunday School, led by Valerie Power

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

The Branch held an Open Meeting  for 2019 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, Dublin 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!

The Branch hosted an Open Evening on November 18th and the guest speaker was Pauline Ennis from the Wexford Women’s Refuge. Pauline gave e very insightful and poignant account of the work of the Refuge and recounted the difficulties that women and their children face recovering from domestic abuse. Pauline was very grateful to receive toiletries and other items for the Refuge.

Georgina Byrne was presented with a token by the Diocesan President, Lesley Bayley, to thank her for all of the time, energy and committment she put in to coordinating the Prayer Circle.

The afternoon concluded with a lovely afternoon tea.

Killanne/Killegney Branch: Founded 1944

The January 2019a  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.

Donna Cruickshank hosted a meeting of the Branch in The Rectory, Clonroche, on 14th November. Donna had the Rectory beautifully decorated for Christmas. the guest speaker was Pauline Ennis from the Women's Refuge in Wexford. Pauline gave us a very thought provoking insight into the work of the Refuge and the challenges it faces. A large amount of gifts, toiletries and clothing was collected by the Branch and donated to the refuge.

The Branch held their Christmas Get-Together in The Alamo Restaurant, Riverside Park Hotel on Monday 16th December. We enjoyed a lovely evening of fun, laughter , exchanging gifts and good food. A very big thank you to everyone who put so much thought and effort into organising the evening ~ Joan for the challenges she set us, Iris for the lovely jars of chutney and Anne for all the lovely little gifts she had for everyone. Iris presented a gift to Anne Warren who has completed her time as Branch Leader. We are very grateful to Anne for all of the time, energy and committment she put into this role.

We wish Donna Cruickshank well as she takes over as Branch Leader. Donna will be commissioned at a service on Monday 10th February @ 10.30 a.m. in Killegney Church.

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 24th September 2019 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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