Mothers' Union today was a fascinating afternoon of sharing precious memories with one another. Each member brought along some treasure and spoke briefly about the significance of it to them or to their family. So this blog is a quick view of some of the objects - the full story will appear in the next Parish Magazine, the Messenger.
I was asked to go first so my very special cross, given to me when I was leaving my curacy, was the object chosen. It is worn every working day and reminds me of my calling and the special friends who gave it to me.
"I got what I wanted - the ring and the man"! That's how another speaker summed up her engagement ring story.
A beautiful story of love and happiness.
Another ring featured too. This one cost the couple only £4!! They'd recovered some stolen rings in a city centre robbery and with the reward money they received they had to find only that small sum in order to buy their ring!
A clanking necklace was shown - full of all sorts of beautiful objects - to be worn only when the jangling wouldn't disturb the peace!
Apart from this very moving quotation on a silver block the chain had a perfume bottle with funnel, coin, semi-precious stone and the cutest wee stamp box.
It looks big here but in reality is just the size of regular postage stamps.
Miniature again featured when another lady displayed the smallest Book of Common Prayer that I've ever seen.
Sitting beside a penny you can see just how tiny it is, yet perfectly legible and is carried everywhere. I was totally amazed.
How many are still using cookery books that they began to write when they were aged twelve.... well over seventy years ago in this case?
The child's writing is so clear and even, and the recipes are still being baked! It is the record of a life's cooking and has the prices of goods back in the 1920s, instructions on how to light a fire and the family wedding cake recipe among its treasures.
A well-worn, well-read Bible was placed on the table. This was given to an eight year old child in 1929 and although it is a bit tattered the lady still uses it to this day!
During the war an eleven year old received the china bookends. Her family had been evacuated from London and at the time of her birthday were staying in North Wales. How these little figures managed to survive the moves, the war and everything that has happened since is surely a mystery.
There were also sad memories. A thirteen year old boy died the day after his birthday and so his Sunday School prize for that year was given to his mother with a very moving tribute by the rector to the lad, inscribed on the fly leaf. How sad that he never got to see his gift - you can imagine how this book has been treasured over the years.
A squirrel from Cologne. He was brought as part of a present from what was possibly the first trip from Belfast to the German Christmas Market.
And this wee doll who is holding some sheet music as she sits in a rocking chair was a family gift to a choir member.
But the dress is not a doll's. It was worn by some little girls in the 1970s and is now being worn by their niece thirty odd years later. It was one of those purchases which, at the time, you think you're mad spending so much money. But with the use it has had - I think it was money well spent!
Finally to some money! A Queen Victoria crown with the queen's image in her widow's weeds. This coin was minted in 1895.
This was one of the most interesting Mothers' Union meetings that I've ever attended! It was so good to hear the stories and to see the objects that are of great significance to members of Saint Nicholas' branch.
Lord God, creator of all things,
who in your loving-kindness and care
meet our human needs:
with the dawn of each day
help us to set our hearts and hope upon you,
that we may show you in the world
as the universal and eternal king;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Celebrating Common Prayer
Tuesday morning prayers.