Mothers Day History in Leicester UK


Mother’s Day or if you are aged over 40, Mothering Sunday, has a very long history in the UK. SJS Carpet Cleaners in Leicester decided to investigate and found 9 different stories about the day when we celebrate our Mothers and take flowers to say thank you …

  1. It may have started in the 17th Century when poor people in England put their children into ‘service’ as domestic servants, staying away from their homes to live and work ‘below stairs’.  One day every year, they were allowed a day off to visit their families. This was usually on the middle Sunday of Lent
  2. It could also be the pre-Reformation Laetare Sunday where people were supposed to visit their mother church to celebrate Mass. The Mother Church is the one where you grew up – your first Church, and not your Daughter Church – the one nearest to where you live your adult life, hence the name meaning other Church Day.
  3. It could also be related to the custom of making a Simnel cake and taking it to your Mother, as described in the poem by Robert Herrick in the mid-17th Century: “I’ll to thee a Simnel bring, Gainst thou go’st a Mothering,”
  4. It could have been started by Constance Smith in 1913, a High Anglican who believed that “a day in praise of mothers” was expressed in the liturgy of the Church of England for the fourth Sunday of Lent. (Notable that she never became a Mother herself). It appears that this was not exactly the case, when studying the Liturgical wording for that Sunday, it states: “we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved”. Nothing there that mentions Mothers, but the sentiment of this dire warning could send us scurrying back home to Mum.
  5. The 4th Sunday in Lent, contains a lesson for the day which declares: “Jerusalem which is above is free; which is the mother of us all.” Perhaps this is where Mothering Sunday began?
  6. In 1920, Constance Smith using the secret pen name of C. Penswick Smith, secretly published a booklet called: “The Revival of Mothering Sunday”, feeling compelled to remind people of the loss by many mothers of their sons in the First World War. Perhaps this was the reason for it?
  7. By 1938, the Mother’s Union (Christian women’s organisation attached to the Anglican Church) boasted that Mothering Sunday was celebrated in every Parish in Britain and in every country of the Empire.
  8. During the 1960’s, every Sunday School child was given a small postcard with quote from the Bible and a pressed yellow flower on it, that was to be taken home and presented to Mothers. Could this be the start of the Mother’s Day card and the flowers?
  9. In 1914, America took the idea and adopted their own version of Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson after a campaign by Anna Jarvis whose own mother had died on May 9. It is notable that she herself did not ever become a Mother.

We hope you enjoy these historical glimpses into the early days of our current Mother’s Day, and if you have forgotten to order the flowers for your Mother, you can always give her a voucher for a #Texatherm Carpet Clean by SJS Carpet Cleaning.

We will even take her a bunch of flowers!