By Hannah Chowdhry
Few people know the origins of Mothers Day, however it originally began in the UK as Mothering Sunday and was a day for celebrating your ‘Mother Church’ – the church of your baptism where you became a child of God.
The festival was held on the 4th Sunday of lent starting sometime in the medieval period, and many people would visit the church were they began their life with God.
In the early 1900’s a woman named Anna Jarvis, organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. This was followed by Constance Adelaide Smith of the UK, in 1913, who revived the modern observance of Mothering Sunday to honour Mother Church, ‘mothers of earthly homes’, the Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus), and Mother Nature.
Nowadays a very secular Mothers Day is celebrated across the globe on different dates, but the early Christian origins are often forgotten. Churches still conduct Mothers Day services however, and I and my sisters travelled with our parents to a service led by Pastor Jimmy Robinson, at Potters House Christian Fellowship, 809 Harrow Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA0 2LP.
Pastor Jimmy Robinson presided over Baptisms for both my parents, but the church where they took place no longer exists. The church halls were hired and a swimming pool was used instead of a baptismal font. Potters House Ilford disbanded over a decade ago. But this was an attempt by my parents to re-bless a church that had done so much for them, and to revive relationship with a Pastor who had input so much into their lives.
The service was great and Mothers were given a special treat which included a terrific meal and gifts including chocolates, cakes and a bottle of Shloer. A change from the tradition of handing out daffodils but a welcome and tasty one for my sisters, my parents and I.
There was a really beautiful moment at the end of the service, when mothers were called to the front of the church for a prayer blessing from the whole church. I share a short video of the worship song that was sung calling for generational blessing.
If your looking for a bible-centred, spirit led church, the teaches a life-transforming Gospel, then I would certainly recommend you visit Potters House Wembley. Pastor Jimmy Robinson is one of the most charismatic and dedicated Pastors I know. The church he leads is a powerful testament for God in West London and members can be seen witnessing in Wembley most weekends. Many weekends throughout the year the church send out impact teams to other churches in their denomination, around the country and globe. It is a real hands on church that reaches out to people, seeking lost souls which is every Christian’s primary calling.
We live far from the church but were blessed on Sunday, and we aim to return to the church at least once every two months in the future. If there is one aspect of the church that is a constant it is the sense of family, once a part of this church you are always welcome. 11 years away and its like you were never away, that’s despite nearly every face having changed. I get the feeling that is something like what we can expect when we arrive in heaven.
You can learn more about Potters House Wembley (here)
Mothers Day did not end with the Sunday service as my parents and I were later on a guest list for the Heather Small (from M People) concert, at the famous London Palladium.
Our free tickets were provided by Ooberfuse a band with focused on writing songs for the oppressed and downtrodden. Hal and Cherrie their main members are charismatic Catholics and performed a rendition of their new song ‘Vanish the Night – Putin Must Go’ as the supporting act for the show. I share a video of their song below:
Ooberfuse had a set of 4 additional songs and are still touring with Heather Small and again we would encourage you to visit one of their events. You can find details of their UK Tour dates (here).
Ooberfuse are the band who collaborated with British Asian Christian Association to produce a campaign song for Asia Bibi. The song at its peak was viewed by over 400,000 people and shared her campaign to an audience that might not have heard of her plight through any other means. You can watch a video here:
They also produced a music video of a composition they wrote for Shahbaz Bhatti a Christian politician assassinated for condemning the blasphemy laws of Pakistan:
We wish all mothers a belated Happy Mothers Day…
Heather Small identifies as a Christian and has performed previously on Songs of Praise. I share a video of her performing on Mothers Day. This song was dedicated to all the mothers: