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Vicar's Column

By Church Office ( ) St John the Baptist Parish Church

Thursday, 11 March 2021


St John the Baptist Parish Church Contributor


Don’t forget Mothering Sunday this Sunday. We have even included craft ideas for the youngsters (see front page of this website)…. The fourth Sunday of Lent (sometimes called Laetare or Refreshment Sunday) is seen as a day of respite during Lent. Although technically Sundays are not included in the Lenten fast anyway (otherwise it would be the 46 days of Lent, not 40).

According to the Children’s Society website, the origins of Mothering Sunday are pre-Christian. Both the Ancient Greeks and the Romans had a spring festival to celebrate motherhood. The Romans kept the feast of Matronalia, while the Greeks honoured Cybele, the mother of the gods. When Christianity was established in Britain, the focus become a celebration of the Mother Church. The practice arose of daughter churches visiting the Mother Church of the Diocese.

A popular notion is that Mothering Sunday was an occasion when in the 18th and 19thcenturies, domestic servants were given the day off to visit their mothers and the family home. It is more likely that the gathering of families on Mothering Sunday was due to the older custom of going together to the Mother Church.

Today, we mostly think of Mothering Sunday as a special day when we worship God, who is like a mother to us, and give thanks for our own earthly mothers and those who have cared for us. However, it is worth keeping in mind the broader history of the festival. Last year, Mothering Sunday was the first Sunday in lockdown “take one” and we were prevented from gathering together in church. Little did we know then that a year on we would still be weathering the pandemic. This year, our Mothering Sunday service will be online, which we hope will be able to reach a wide audience. Do tune in, although, sadly this year we won’t be able to distribute flowers for mothers and simnel cake – technology does have its limits!

Revd Dr Lisa Cornwell

Contact Information

Church Office ( )

Find St John the Baptist Parish Church

Waterloo Road, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 7NT


Additional Information

There is ample parking along Waterloo Road, and around the back of the Church on the unmade road Church Street. What 3 words code: