In the UK today is Mothering Sunday (aka Mother’s Day) but apparently they are not the same.
You can read more here. The tradition in the UK goes back centuries and relates to servants returning to their mother church on the fourth Sunday in Lent and in so doing seeing their mothers. Although this has since been absorbed into the secular festival of Mother’s Day it is nonetheless pertinent that today I am in Lincoln (the town where I grew up) and visiting the church where I became a Christian (St George’s, Swallowbeck).
It is here I came back in May/June of 1982 – having been challenged about my faith (I thought I was a Christian – before I actually knew what that meant) – here I found out who Jesus was and what He means for me then and now 32 years later. In the following months Mum and my brother Stephen were became Christians too and we were all baptised in April of 1983.
I come back here only two to three times a year now but it’s good to catch up with familiar faces. Although I actually attended St George’s for just over two years before heading off to University, Mum continues to be part of the church and Stephen married Fiona here and so her family are in Lincoln too. Dad’s ashes are buried in the grounds.
I still think of Lincoln as my home town, even though I was born in Suffolk and have lived in Milton Keynes for over a quarter of a century. Mum still lives in the house we moved to in December of 1972, most of my childhood nearly all of my teenage years were in this place and so there are many memories tied up within these walls.
We have come up here with Mum who has been with us in MK this past week. Commercialised or not we are going to celebrate Mother’s Day, realising that for the next two years this will be a distant celebration for both Anita and I. Our Mums (as well as Geoff who is Anita’s Dad and so not a Mum!) have been so helpful and supportive in recent weeks and their council has been wise. We will miss them when we go and even though we are both in our 40’s we will always be their kids (and they our Mum’s).
It is of course a day for Anita too though as a family we will have some Tanzanian Mother’s Days together in Mwanza. Apparently in Tanzania Mother’s Day follows the American tradition and will be in May next year.