books, reviews

Book Review: The Church, Who Needs It? We Do! – Yvonne Bennett and The Women of Mummies Republic

A group of mums in South London living in poverty come together to form a group to help each other.

They talk of their struggles on Universal credit and the ways in which a pioneer Methodist missionary has brought them together. Not all have a faith, but all believe in the power of prayer. Their struggles escalate as the pandemic lockdown comes into play.

They start a blog and use this to express their feelings. This book is their voice.

My thoughts:

This was a really interesting study looking at the role of the Church (encompassing all denominations) in modern life. The women who attend the Wednesday meetings of Mummies Republic are not all regular church goers but that doesn’t matter. The assistance, support and fellowship they receive there transcends those restrictions.

They find comfort and solace in prayer and their community – as well as practical help and advice as they navigate the ludicrous benefits system and then 2020’s first lockdown. Unable to meet in person they connect via WhatsApp and a blog they take turns contributing to.

While religious faith may be on a decline in the UK, the role the Church can play in providing essential services the government and wider society fail to, is often unrecognised and unsung. From credit unions to food banks, mental health support and even holidays, the Church is there to try to uplift and support its parishioners.

The pioneering work of this South London Church is vital to the lives of the Mummies Republic women, empowering them and supporting them during dark and difficult times. Many of them are single parents, some are survivors of domestic abuse, all of them are struggling.

This slim volume assesses the work being done and also gives voice to this community of women, in their own words, revealing their hopes and fears.

Powerful and moving, it should remind us that we can do more to support the people that are often overlooked and neglected. And that the church is often there (as are temples, mosques, synagogues and gurdwaras) to offer solace and practical support without fanfare.

I was kindly sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

feminism, life


Here are some of my favourite female quotes, gather the inspiration and go!!

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman” – Virginia Woolf

“If you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain” – Dolly Parton

I get called a dumb blonde, which is funny because i ain't dumb and I ain't blonde

“Well behaved women rarely make history” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Create your own style, let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others” – Anna Wintour

The happy girls are the prettiest girls

“Nothing in the world is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’ ” – Audrey Hepburn

Rosie the Riveter - women can do anything



Off topic

I know this isn’t the usual content but I am fed up of the government’s war on women. The Budget was announced on White Ribbon Day – a day to commemorate and demand an end to violence against women and girls.

The Tampon Tax has made headlines already this year, a tax on being a woman and having a uterus (these two things are not the same BTW).

Now George Osbourne announces that instead of scrapping a gendered tax, instead the money will go towards funding women’s health care and domestic violence charities.

Women are already unfairly punished by cuts to services and instead of remedying it, the men in charge decide, women can pay for services.

Services that in many cases wouldn’t be needed if it wasn’t for men. Domestic abuse is society’s issue and the need for refuges for women is overwhelmingly because of men.

1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetimes, and women are most likely to be murdered by an intimate partner or family member.

Now I’m all for funding women’s health services and domestic abuse services but not like this. Essentially women are paying for themselves. Because they have uteruses that once a month bleed.

Both David Cameron and George Osbourne have daughters. I hope they’re prepared to defend this when those girls reach puberty – and can see how sexist and misogynist this decision is.

For more on this, The Debrief had some great articles today and I’m sure more will be forthcoming.