188-year-old attends Garden Party at Ely

Mary Sumner, founder of the Mothers’ Union, was the surprise guest of honour as Ely Diocesan MU celebrated the 140th birthday last night of the organisation she founded. Just before the raffle was drawn the 188 year old foundress slipped into the marquee in the Bishop’s garden and then addressed the gathered company, telling her story of the MU was founded out of her own desire as a grandmother to see her grandchildren grow up well, with a strong call to us to live up to her vision. The atmosphere was electric and speaking afterwards, I reminded myself of the dangers of working with children, animals and founding saints and echoed her call to care for our families as grandmothers (and others) who play, pay (!), and … pray.

P.S. Diocesan President Susan Baker was seen shortly afterwards slipping off a shawl…