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More than just Mum
Christina Jordan, 29, lives in Southport with her husband Mark and their two children, who are four and two. She joined Mothers’ Union through a mother and toddler group, and now enjoys having the chance to get out and meet other women and do her bit through the various projects they take part in
I’ve always been interested in ethical living and helping other people. My first degree was in developmental studies and social sciences, and I did my dissertation on ethical consumerism. Afterwards, when I was 21, I went to work in Kenya for a while with Tearfund. I first met Mark while we were both working in Marks & Spencer. I had just come back from Kenya and was saving to do my Masters. We did the same shift and got chatting and it turned out he had just been to Kenya too, although he’d been to a different part. And he was saving up to do a PGCE (post graduate certificate of education), so we were in a similar position. I went off to Bible college for a year and he went off to Cambridge to do his PGCE so we spent the first year apart, having a long distance relationship. It was a five hour journey on the train so it was quite hard.
It was while I was doing my Masters, at Redcliffe College in Gloucestershire, that I first heard of Mothers’ Union. I was one of the youngest at the college; a lot of the other students were married with children, and one of them was a
Mothers’ Union member. I thought it sounded good but not for me, because I wasn’t a mum. I didn’t know at the time it was open to everyone. Mark and I got married in 2011. We moved to Southport when I was heavily pregnant with our
daughter; we still had boxes to unpack when she was born! It was quite a hard time. We moved and had a baby and were planning for a wedding all at the same time. Neither of us drove and Mark had an hour’s commute on the bus
to work. My daughter and I started going to a play group called Little Treasures, which was at a local church, St James, and at the group they used to give out back issues of Families First magazine. It reminded me of what I’d seen of Mothers’ Union when I had been at college. I wanted to join for ages, but it can be difficult to get to the meetings when you have small children. Now my youngest is two, he’s more happy with daddy putting him to bed, so I thought I’d go along.
It’s nice to do something just for me, and to meet other women, even though most of them are much older than me - they’re grandmothers rather than just mothers. There is one other mum who is a friend of mine, but she often can’t go because she’s got three kids to look after. It is harder to get out when you’ve got children! I’ve been to a couple of meetings so far and I’ve really enjoyed them. At the first one we had a speaker who was a survivor of breast cancer. She was only in her mid-40s so it was quite sad. She talked about how it affected her faith, how it grew her faith, and also about the charity she set up (www.firmroots.org.uk). When she was going through her illness she said she was surprised that there wasn’t much Christian support available, it was mostly secular, so she set something up. At the next meeting we made up toiletry bags for the homeless. We were each given an item we had to bring, so someone brought soaps and someone brought sponges, and we put together about 36 bags for a homeless charity in the area.
Since leaving Bible college, I’ve done various volunteering roles, for example in the Oxfam shop, but when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I decided I wanted to be a stay-at home mum. I felt that Mothers’ Union was a way to stay involved in that kind of work but with other women and mums. We have recently started going to St James on a Sunday too. After we had our daughter I started taking her to church near us and we went there for about two years, but then we realised it wasn’t the right one for us. Now we’ve moved to St James, where the Mothers’ Union is, and we’re really enjoying it.
I became a Christian when I was18 at university. A friend asked me to church. It just was the right thing for me and I felt that was what I needed - what I still need. It was a big thing for her to do; it’s hard to invite someone when you don’t really know them. I was confirmed when I was 21, and the friend who invited me to church was one of our bridesmaids when Mark and I got married.
For me, the best thing about being a Christian is unconditional love. There’s so much pressure in society, especially if you’re a girl or a woman, it’s hard to believe you’re unconditionally loved. I think that was a big step in growing
my confidence. And also I love knowing that this isn’t all there is. Having that relationship with God is really important to me.