On Ascension Day, 30th May, Hilary Dring, only the sixteenth Diocesan President of Mothers’ Union in Cork in almost 125 years, was commissioned by Bishop Paul Colton.
It was a wonderful evening at St. Mary’s Church in Carrigaline when many Mothers’ Union members from around the Diocese gathered, along with Hilary’s family, friends, parishioners and clergy for this special Festival Service to celebrate and give thanks together.
It was very special to have former Diocesan Presidents, Joan Hale, Hazel Rhys-Thomas, Avril Jennings and Patsy Devoy present, as well as Irene Whitley, a former enrolling member of Carrigaline and Monkstown branch. The music was enhanced greatly by the Monkstown Chamber Choir who were directed by the organist on the night, Roger Ellis.
Bishop Paul preached on the readings of the day which were very fitting – Ephesians 1:15-23 was his focus; he spoke of how many of those present know of Hilary’s ‘faith in the Lord Jesus and (her) love toward all the saints’. He went on to say that this is a gift, not to be taken for granted, and referred to St. Paul’s prayer for ‘a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him…that you may know the hope to which he has called you…’’.
The role of President is for three years, with the option of another three, and carries with it responsibility for Mothers’ Union across the county of Cork, as well as being part of the All Ireland trustees. Hilary is looking forward to both exciting and challenging times ahead and knows that with God’s help the organisation can continue to reach out and contribute to making a difference to families and communities, in Cork, in Ireland and around the world in over 84 countries.
Hilary’s mother, Marjorie Bond, was a long serving Mothers’ Union member and served as Diocesan Secretary for many years. Bishop Paul remarked that Marjorie would be very proud of Hilary, as would her father, Victor, who was principal of Ashton School for almost 25 years.
This year is also the 90th anniversary of Carrigaline and Monkstown Mothers’ Union, an occasion well worth celebrating. There were birthday balloons and cake-cutting by branch members (including former enrolling members) at the supper in the Canon McCrea Hall afterwards. The friendship and fellowship in Mothers’ Union are wonderful gifts that members offer each other, as well as the opportunity ’to reach out in love and service’.