Throughout the autumn and winter months of 202 1Hilary Dring, Mothers’ Union Diocesan President in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, has walked over 100km with MU members from across the diocese in aid of local projects.
Over the autumn months Mothers’ Union members took to the highways and byways of Cork, both city and county, to raise funds for the Mums in May fund – what a great time we had, walking and talking, getting soaked, enjoying the sunshine, drinking tea together, sharing stories and praying together. The views were at times magnificent, at times we were in the fog; it was always enjoyable!
’21 in 21’ was the tagline – do 21 of something and raise some money to help fund projects all across Ireland. So I thought what could I do? I could walk 21 x 5km and raise a few bob. Little did I realise how wonderful a plan it would be. For a year and a half we had not been able to have any meetings or services, members had been ‘cocooning’ and were isolated and often lonely.
As I contacted the different branches, and the walks were organised one by one, I experienced the sheer joy of seeing people meet up again after not seeing each other for so long. It was simply amazing to bring people together in different places, to have the support of the clergy, who led us in prayer as we set out and often walked with us. It seemed such a simple thing to do but it turned out to be also a profound thing to do. Members and others were encouraged and strengthened as we gathered. The friendship and fellowship which is such a big part of Mothers’ Union was able to take place again in person.
Travelling around the county was a wonderful experience and I learned so much about the different areas thanks to the local knowledge that ‘walked’ with me. I visited places I had never been before and learned of the history of Cork in a new light.
Thank you to all who walked with me, to those who organised the walks, the teas, the prayers, the raising of funds. My 21 walks have raised just short of €3,000 and, along with the great efforts of many other members in Cork, we have raised a total of €7878 so far which is incredible. Across Ireland we estimate that the amount will be well above €50,000, which will go towards local projects and towards changing people’s lives over the next three years.