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Friday 3rd March 2017 at 10.30 a.m. at Epsom Methodist Church

2017 is the 80th Anniversary of Women's World Day of Prayer in Epsom

The Mayor will be attending and cutting a celebratory cake

A reflection by Judith Wakelin

The origins of Women's World Day of Prayer by Gabriella Richardson

See more of History HERE

2017, Jesus said to them: Am I Being Unfair to You?

from the Ladies of the Philippines

Please look at the artwork below produced by the women of the Philippines.
'That's not fair/ is a cry often heard - from playground, through school, into work place or political corridors.
Today we take time to reflect on what this means to us as individuals and to our world through the eyes of the women of the Philippines.

On the art work, we see fairness, balance and justice reflected. It's a very busy, colourful picture; the more you look at it the more you see.
There seem to be two contrasting sides - on the right bright, colourful images; on the left, predominantly dark and dull colours, showing the imbalance of life.


Through this service we reflect on both sides of the picture whilst holding to the truth that God is a fair and just God.
Welcome to the 2017 World Day of Prayer service.

Please look at the meditation picture again.

The right side suggests lush vegetation, beautiful beaches, blue seas and plentiful harvests. The left side suggests grey, high-rise buildings and the changing face of industry. The woman appears forlorn and the child reading is alone. The three women in front hold up a banana leaf on which there is an abundance of food unevenly distributed.

All the good food is on the right-hand side, while on the left are only fish bones.

The woman in the centre is covering her right eye, so that she cannot see the destruction and poverty beside her. She holds a pair of scales weighted towards the plentiful harvest.

We continue to reflect on both sides of the picture whilst holding to the truth that God is a fair and just God.

2017, Jesus said to them: Am I Being Unfair to You?

The Service was held at Epsom Methodist church and 78 people attended.

The Mayor Councillor George Crawford also attended. Judith Wakelin from Epsom Methodist Church spoke on the theme, and everybody enjoyed the introduction from Gabriel Richardson from Epsom Catholic Church on the history of WWDP relevant to services in Epsom as we were celebrating our 80 years’ anniversary.

It was lovely to have two Filipino ladies from St Josephs who participated and took part with the readings.

Small bags of rice were distributed as part of the service these had been prepared by Epsom Methodist Church and the Filipino ladies.

A member from Epsom Methodist Church had made a celebration cake, and The Mayor cut this at the end of the service and this was distributed as part of the refreshments members had also made some Filipino muffins, the recipe of which was in the WWDP Together in Prayer booklet.

Gillian Mead

Photographs with thanks from Kevin Mead

The Philippines National colours and typical products

The service in full swing at Epsom Methodist Church

The Mayor Councillor George Crawford cuts the celebratory cake

The Mayor and attendees enjoying the splendid cake

Setting the scene.

The Philippines comprises a group of islands located on the Pacific Ring of Fire close to the equator. This contributes to the high incidence of typhoons and earthquakes (around 20 per year.)

Climate change has led to an increase in storms, droughts and severe typhoons with Typhoon Yolanda, (or Haiyan), recorded in November 2013 as the most severe storm ever to hit land and claiming thousands of lives.


The Philippines is a constitutional republic with a democratic government led by the President. However, the predominantly Muslim island of Mindanao has its own autonomous regional government.17% of elected government posts are filled by women.
There have been two women presidents – Corazon Aquino and Gloria Arroyo, both of whom come from families with a long political tradition.


Before Spanish colonisation in the 16th century, women occupied some status in the community. However, the Spanish introduced feudalism, leading to the subordination of women throughout the archipelago.

Today many Filipino women take on the role of breadwinner, often working abroad as service crew, domestic helpers or skilful professionals in the medical field.

The Philippine Constitution provides for equal rights, yet in practice Filipino women are often discriminated against and treated as subordinates in the home, in the church and in society.


Public education is sponsored by the government but there are also private schools. Children start school at age 4 and elementary public schools are free.


The Philippines is one of the fastest growing Asian economies with labour migration a major economic force. This has impacted on the social fabric of the country. Ninety per cent of domestic workers are women – of which the majority work in the Gulf countries.

Primary exports include semiconductors, coconut oil, fruits, garments and products relating to electronics, transport, copper and petroleum. Tourism accounts for 10% of national employment and contributes to almost 6% of the Philippine Gross Domestic Product.


Circa 65,000 BC Believed first human beings begin to populate the area.

1521 Ferdinand Magellan arrives from Portugal

1565 Spanish colonisation begins and lasts for more than three centuries.

Independent kingdoms of the archipelago unify and become known as the Philippines.

1896 The Philippine Revolution against Spain begins, resulting in the First Philippine Republic.

The Treaty of Paris transfers control of the Philippines to the United States,

1898 United States establishes a military government i

1899 The Philippine Republic does not agree with the treaty and wages war against the U.S..

1902 Conflict declared over.

1935 .Commonwealth status granted

1946 Full independence from the U.S.

US presence remains in terms of investments and military forces – influences religion, education and technology.

1970 Martial law declared by Ferdinand Marcos

1986 People’s Power Revolution ousts Marcos in peaceful coup. Return to democracy.


 Service at Epsom Methodist Church 10.30 on March 3rd 2017

These Services are open to all, it is not restricted to the Ladies


Women's World Day of Prayer future themes.

2018, Jesus said to them: All God’s Creation Is Very Good, Suriname

2019, Jesus said to them: Come – Everything Is Ready, Slovenia

2020, Jesus said to them: Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk, Zimbabwe

2021, Jesus said to them: Build on a Strong Foundation, Vanuatu

If you have attended any of the previous Women's World Day of Prayer then browse some of them HERE