Diocesan Council

Chester Diocese Mothers' Union Council meeting was held at St John's Hartford on Saturday 29th June. Our keynote speaker was the Rt Hon Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton and a Mothers' Union member. She is pictured with Angela Klabou, Diocesan President.

Fiona Bruce's Speech

Our very own Right Honourable Member Fiona Bruce MP Speaks at Chester Diocese Mothers' Union Diocesan Council.

Mothers' Union members in Chester Diocese received a true gift in the inspirational talk given on 29th June at St John's Church Centre, Hartford, by member Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton Constituency.

Fiona told a moving story of her journey in Christian faith, which has brought her into parliament. Trained as a lawyer, twenty years ago, Fiona sensed God was calling her to use her faith and skills to make a difference and improve the lives of others in the community. Children came along and Fiona decided to put her career on the backburner to concentrate on her family, but still sensed the call to do more, despite comments such as "why do YOU want to get involved with the dirty game of politics". After much prayer asking the Lord what he wanted of her, Fiona sensed that to be a Politician was where her faith was taking her: joining the Conservative Party, as she felt they most supported family life. After various tribulations and nearly giving up, she is thankful to her husband's faith and encouragement and was selected as MP for Congleton in 2010.

Sadly she says "there are only a handful of Christian MPs, but they all felt they were on a journey: called by God to make a difference". Fiona went on to describe her experience as an MP as "very humbling, she loved being at parliament," trying to make a difference. Marriage, children and family life: important to Fiona: she appreciates the support of Mothers' Union in upholding these values. Several Mothers' Union campaigns taken to parliament by Fiona are now becoming government policy.

Fiona, of St Michael and All Angels, Middlewich Branch, supported the national Mothers' Union, Bye Buy Childhood campaign and at Prime Minister's Question Time, she raised the issue of the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. In reply, the Rt. Hon David Cameron MP, as a father of three young children, also expressed his concern. Reg Bailey, the Chief Executive of the Mothers' Union, was asked to conduct an independent review. The Bailey Review "Let Children Be Children" can be seen at www.the mothersunion.org. Two of its recommendations are to be included in an Act of Parliament: Age rating for music videos and making it easier for parents to block adult and age-restricted material from the Internet: Four of the largest internet servers have now agreed to register users of age restricted internet sites. In addition, Job Centres are now barred from advertising jobs in the sex industry.

Faith and Policy initiative from Mothers' Union, encouraged Fiona to highlight government policy on:
(a) Education: school curriculums will focus on care and relationships, in response to concern to sexual abuse of girls and bullying of pupils on social media. Financial Education will become compulsory in 2014.
(b) Working on a government programme 'Care for the Family': Strengthening marriage and parenting. Many new parents, without support, separate within the first two years after a child is born. The cost to our society, in both emotional and financial terms is devastating. A government sponsored book, Lets Stick Together, by Harry Benson and recommended by Fiona shows the necessity for love, compassion and nurture in our relationships with each other and in supporting families.

In the Chester Diocese "Virtual Babies" were taken into High Schools in Wirral and Congleton areas by Mothers' Union members to encourage responsible parenting.
( c) Supported a debate on Euthanasia: 100 MP's attended.
(d) International work - looking at what the government is spending money on abroad.

Finally, Fiona Bruce, commended Mothers' Union for its mission to bring about a world where God's love is shown through loving, respectful and flourishing relationships.