The Women’s Organization of the Parish has come of age – Praise the Lord!
This is the local branch of the Ibadan Diocesan Women’s Organization presently headed by Mrs. C. O. Akinfenwa. This organization is an arm of the church to promote women’s programmes and complement men’s work as seen in the case of Acquilla and Priscilla in Acts 18:2.
The Organization comprises the – Mothers’ Union and Women’s Guild.
The Organization has been ably led by the Vicar’s wives past and present and now under the leadership of Mrs. Babalola. History it that some of the Vicars’ wives that took Women’s Organization to her enviable position today include Mrs. V. O. Iluyomade and Mrs. E. O. Okeremi. They were both very much committed to these groups including the Girls’ Guild. It is worthy of note that many women in the church have come to know and appreciate these women’s programmes under the present leadership.
The activities of the Women’s Organization in this Parish have taken a new dimension in the past ten years such that they have increased the spiritual growth of women and encouraged stability in marriages and homes.
The Mothers’ Union
An association of women who marry according to the regulation of the church continues to enrol young and old mothers in this category. This union maintains the spirit of one man and one woman according to God’s injunction. Women married in the registry and are privileged to have church blessings are qualified to be enrolled into the Union. The union continues to be guided by her objects which are five in number since her establishment by Mary Sumner in 1876. It is one of the most successful organizations within the Anglican Communion worldwide.
The five objectives of Mothers’ Union are to:
- Uphold Christ’s teaching on the nature of marriage and to promote its wider understanding.
- Encourage parents to bring up their children in the faith and life of the church.
- Maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service.
- Promote conditions in the society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children, and
- Help those whose family life has met with adversity.
These objectives guide the Diocese to plan the activities for the year and in turn the Parishes.
The Mothers’ Union was inaugurated in St. Anne’s Church in 1965. Some of her activities include Business Meeting featuring Bible study, symposium, group discussions, empowerment programmes, health talk, outreaches for widows, pregnant women and the aged.
The Union also maintains a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayers, worship and service as members meet in homes to pray for families, the church and the nation.
A unique feature of the Mothers’ Union programme in St. Anne’s Church annually is the conduct of the “Flower Service” where the couple of the year is named. This couple must have had at least 25 years of unblemished marriage. The aim of this event is to encourage couples to tolerate each other since marriage is a life-long relationship. This singular programme has made the Mothers’ Union of St. Anne’s Church a pace-setter in The Drama Group featured in the celebration of Ibadan Diocese at 60 presenting play titled: “Mothers’ Union Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. It was co-ordinated by Mrs. Olusesi & Mrs. Woranola. The Intercessory Group of the Union has continued to pray for the union, families, church, and the nation on regular basis.
The Welfare Committee of the Union ensures that the aged members are visited and prayed for.
The union has impacted positively on the lives of many individuals, families and the societies at large through her many far-reaching programmes. The commitment of members to serve the union in any capacity cannot be over emphasized.
This was introduced to St. Anne’s Church in 1965 and has since been headed by Vicars’ wives. Presently, Mrs. Banke Woranola ably assisted by Assistant Priests’ wives has kept the guild going. It is a group comprising all married women in the church who come together to study the word of God and practicalize it in the homes, church, and society at large.
Popularly known as “Egbe Aya Bisobu”, many young wives are yet to embrace it as they erroneously believe that the group is meant for elderly women in the church. Before a member can be enrolled into Mothers’ Union now, she has to first be a member of the Women’s Guild.
The activities include – Bible study, quiz competition, health talk, symposium, intercessory prayers and visits to Motherless Babies’ Homes.
Mrs. E. M. Ojo has been a consistent member and pillar to the Women’s Guild. The current secretary is Mrs. P.O. Oyerinde. The membership of Women’s Guild in the church is still low. There is the need for all women to rise up to the occasion and contribute their quota to the development of the Guild. Women, being the spiritual pillar in the home need to fellowship with other women to join hands in prayers for their husbands, children, the church, and the nation. Societies with women should encourage their female members to join the Women’s Guild as it serves as a spiritual platform for a successful home.