FOR Songs of Praise on Mothering Sunday, Katherine Jenkins meets brand new mums at Basildon’s Maternity Unit and gets to cuddle babies just hours old – particularly poignant for Katherine, as she’s expecting her second child this April.
Baby Aurelia was just 10-hours-old when Katherine met her and super proud first-time-Mum Natalie Jude. All had gone well with the birth and later, when Nan and Dad arrived, Katherine was able to wave off the whole family, telling baby Aurelia always to remember her “Auntie Katherine”!
Joanne Hoare and Debbie Olajugbagbe are midwives at Basildon Hospital and have 50 years’ experience between them. In the programme they talk to Katherine about the privilege of sharing in some of the most precious moments of people’s lives, expressing the joy of helping to bring new life into the world – as well as the heart break when things sometimes go wrong and how their strong Christian faith helps them in every situation. As Debbie remarked, ‘There is a scripture, Psalm 139, God knew us in the womb, and it really encourages me that God has not forgotten the babies that didn’t make it’.
Katherine also met Katharine Hill, UK Director of Christian charity “Care for the Family” – a national charity which promotes the importance of family life and helps families facing difficulties. She tells Katherine that there is no way to be a perfect parent but hundreds of ways to be a great one. Katharine also gives some surprising biblical insights. With God so often described as ‘Father’ she explains there are some overlooked references in the Bible which use maternal imagery for God, with even Jesus referred to himself as a mother hen longing to care for chicks as he laments over Jerusalem shortly before his crucifixion:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”