Exeter Ward Relief Society Serve and Celebrate 181st Anniversary of the Organisation

By Carole Fullwood

The sisters in Exeter Ward celebrate the 181st birthday of the Relief Society Organisation

Members of Exeter Ward Relief Society have conducted many hours of combined community service, as they have all learnt to knit and crochet. The ongoing focus of their service in their local community is to provide knitted or crochet blankets for the homeless, refugees, and local children’s hospital. Their success was celebrated as they joined together to remember the 181st Birthday for Relief Society, the oldest women’s organisation in the world. They shared homemade food, along with stories and poems that brought personal inspiration and joy.

The Exeter Relief Society President, Donna Lewis, says- “Bishop said he wanted us to help younger and newer sisters who said they didn't have sewing or knitting skills.”

Diane Weedon, an Activity Committee Member, continues- “We reflected on skills our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and great aunts had role modelled, and so set out to learn, or for some of us relearn.”

Another committee member, Brenda Holford, added- “We all have different skills we can share, including patchwork, quilting, embroidery and cross stitch which we have planned to teach later this year.”

Exeter Relief Society counsellor, Gloria Lloyd, concluded “We then decided that rather than just learn, we wanted to do something with our work. We have sisters who teach, others coach and mentor, and some help with our quality control. We have started small but now meet regularly in daytime activities with a packed lunch. Sisters take it in turns to lead activities, some are planned into school holidays, once a month. I schedule an extended work lunch time so I can attend. Our WhatsApp group is filled with photos sharing our work. There is a lovely feeling of togetherness and momentum.”

The Relief Society enthusiasm is rubbing off on the young children at church, who have now asked to learn how to knit and crochet. The sisters are joining the children during their mid-week activity and teaching the children one to one. The children aim to create a blanket together which they will donate to the baby unit, through Diane, who is a local midwife.