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100th anniversary of Mothering Sunday

Date: 07 March 2013

The Church of England is calling for a celebration of thanksgiving for mothers and motherhood to mark the centenary of Mothering Sunday

One hundred years after the campaign to re-establish Mothering Sunday was launched at Coddington in Nottinghamshire, the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, is calling for a celebration of thanksgiving for mothers and motherhood to mark the centenary.

Bishop Paul said: “This diocese has a special connection with Mothering Sunday, going back to the initiative of Constance Penswick-Smith from one of our parishes who put the day on the national agenda again. Mothering is something we all need at times although it’s something we can take for granted. This year I’m especially aware of all those children and young people who don’t have mothers or even fathers and are without the care and love of a family.

"We’re asking parishes to focus on the work of Family Care - our local adoption and family support agency that gives practical help to children and young people. This special Mothering Sunday is an opportunity to think and pray for mothers and pray about how we can be a ‘mother’ to someone who desperately needs care and love.”

The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham also urged people to celebrate mothering Sunday by posting prayers online at giving thanks for their mothers and remembering too those for whom the day is difficult due to bereavement or family breakdown.

In 1913 Constance Penswick-Smith (1878-1938), the daughter of the vicar of Coddington, Nottinghamshire, caught the vision to celebrate Mothering Sunday. Later in 1921 Constance wrote a booklet asking for a full revival of Mothering Sunday, eventually founding The Society for the Observance of Mothering Sunday and spending more than 25 years promoting the celebration of the festival. Thanks mainly to Constance’s efforts, Mothering Sunday - which has its roots in the pre-Reformation Church - has been widely observed and re-established across the Church of England, and celebrated in wider society.

Notes to editors

Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent, this year on 10th March.

A new prayer for Mothering Sunday

Mothering God who loves us passionately, we thank you for this love

We thank you too for the love of mothers for their children everywhere

Where being a mother is hard, give wisdom and strength

Where it is a joy and delight, give hearts of thankfulness

For those for whom this day brings sadness because of the loss of a mother, or motherhood, bring comfort

And may the church as mother show forth your love to all

We pray in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, who knew the care of his mother Mary


The Church of England's Common Worship Service for Mothering Sunday can be found at:

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