The everyday faith of the MU in our diocese

Local Mothers’ Union President, Wendy Sykes, is now one year into her three-year term. She leads the 72 branches in our diocese, all of which are supporting our communities, especially families and those who are lonely. 

She is as passionate as ever about helping people in our society, especially the lonely and those who are overlooked or neglected.

“I just care for people,” she says.

Her role is one that involves meeting with people, attending conferences, inspiring branches to reach out to others, and bringing new ideas and projects to the organisation.

Last year alone, she travelled more than 2000 miles meeting with others around the diocese and sharing her inspiration and encouraging branches in their work.

“People say I work too hard, but I love what I do. I love meeting people and helping and reaching out to people. I am doing something that I really enjoy.”

Members of the Mothers' Union in the Diocese of Chester at the Royal Cheshire County Show, Wendy Sykes is far right. 

Wendy first joined the MU after she retired from teaching. It followed a period volunteering with Meals on Wheels which supports the lonely by offering friendship, as well as a hot meal, to the lonely in our towns and villages.

During this time, Wendy met people who had a lasting impact on her. Some were lonely and feeling very low. But the regular interaction helped and made people feel supported.

“I arrived at one lady’s house and she told me I was the only person she’d spoken to all day. She told me she’d had enough and was feeling really quite low. There were many people like that. We would go out looking for these people, visit them and encourage them to come to afternoon tea.”

This sense of service to the lonely is something that is at the heart of her energy and passion for the MU.

This year, the MU in the Diocese of Chester will support prisoners by offering “Release Bags” to support those being released from prison. They will also knit items including Baptism Bears, as well as Fiddle Muffs for those with dementia, and they will provide baby-changing and breast-feeding facilities for visitors to the Cheshire Show.

Wendy also hopes to introduce new project ideas to the local branches, including a plan to support The Clewer Initiative, a national project tackling modern-day slavery in our communities.

Wendy first heard about the project when she attended a conference at which a guest speaker shared details of Clewer’s work and how it was helping people trapped in servitude here in the UK.

“I particularly worry about people all alone in their own homes. I also want us to do as much as we can to support local clergy, in any way we can. Encouraging new members is key, as is fundraising for our flagship programme, Away From it All, a project that helps people who need some special time with their family but for whom finding the time and funds to spend time together might be difficult. In 2019 we provided holidays for 13 families.”

Wendy has also introduced new ideas to local branches which are having an impact on people with dementia and bringing people together in laughter and friendship.

Already one year into her three-year term as Mothers’ Union President in the Diocese of Chester, Wendy is working hard to ensure her time as President makes an impact and leaves a legacy for years to come.

Wendy acknowledges that she has a great deal of support from the whole Diocese of Chester including the Trustees, Secretary, clergy, the leaders in the 72 branches and all the MU members who help her.

If you want to find out more, go to

Wendy Sykes will continue to serve as President in the Diocese of Chester until December 2021


Page last updated: Friday 6th March 2020 12:01 PM
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