Mothers Union: A force to be reckoned with!

Ros Dobbin, Joint President Mothers' Union West Yorkshire and the Dales (Ripon and Leeds), explains the Wheels Appeal to children with the aid of the Teddies!

During the weekend of 5th/6th July 2014 the Tour de France reached Yorkshire and Mothers’ Union members were out in force! The churches of Yorkshire welcomed and extended friendship and hospitality to visitors from throughout the world and many Mothers’ Union branches were part of it within the Dioceses of West Yorkshire & The Dales, York and Sheffield.

Mothers’ Union used this opportunity to work together in the York Province;

  • They produced 10,000 flyers to publicise Wheels Appeal and promote Mothers’ Union work. Giving information about distances travelled by Community Development Coordinators across the world in comparison with the Tour de France distances.
  • Hundreds of Le Tour Teddy bears were knitted by members and given away to children during the weekend. Some teddy bears were used at First Aid stations by the medical company used by the Tour organisers.
  • An especially composed prayer for “Le Church, Le Tour and Le Welcome to Yorkshire” was used by members across the province before the event.


Jean Thurman, representative member for York said: “It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and Mothers’ Union were happy to offer a warm welcome to families visiting our beautiful area”.


Here are just a small selection of the events, ideas and efforts that different branches throughout the province got involved in

  • In April, as part of the 100 days Yorkshire Festival leading up to Le Grand Depart, St Mary’s branch was active during the “Handmade Parade”. They had a successful outreach day, people reading the flyers and selling cakes for The Wheels Appeal.
  • Gomersal had its own Tots Tour de France, for 6 years and under, at St. Mary’s Primary school on the 5th July itself. St Bartholomew’s, Ripponden was open for refreshments and a Flower Festival was held on a bicycle theme. The Mothers’ Union display was wonderful and depicted the Wheels Appeal.
  • St Thomas’s church, Greetland was directly on the route. Teddies were given away and some donations for the Wheels Appeal received. 
  • In Hepworth Teddies were knitted by member Joan Warrender at the Hepworth branch.
  • St Mary’s, Honley. Mother’s Union members helped to provide refreshments of coffee and homemade cakes throughout Saturday 5th July, when a Street Fair and Village Extravaganza was held, as well as on Sunday 6th July when Le Tour passed by the village. 
  • In Leyburn in North Yorkshire, Mary Storr was the member who has knitted most of the teddies! Leyburn was one of the main hubs for Le Tour in the Yorkshire Dales.
  • Branch Wentworth + Harley had a 'Wheelie Quick Cricket Match'.  The children did not run between the wickets but used their bikes, scooters etc! They also had a Family picnic at the same time.


Mothers' Union extend their thanks to all members in the province who worked so hard to make this opportunity such a success!