Diocesan press releases

Celebrating Mothering Sunday with traditional simnel cake

Visitors to a church in Llandudno on Sunday (11 March) can help keep an ancient Mothering Sunday tradition alive.

St Paul’s church in Craig-y-Don will be serving simnel cake after the 9.45am service, as well as putting on a musical celebration with harp accompaniment.

Simnel cake has been known for almost 800 years, and is traditionally eaten on Mothering Sunday – the middle Sunday in Lent.  It’s a light fruit cake with marzipan both in the middle and on the outside.

That tradition has continued at St Paul’s church, where members of the Mothers’ Union continue to bake simnel cake and give out Mothering Sunday cards.

The Revd Noel Carter, Rector of St Paul’s Church, explained: “No-one is completely sure where the tradition of simnel cake comes from, or how the cake got its name.

“It may have been a way to mark the middle of Lent, and a sign that Easter is not far away.

“But it’s an extremely tasty tradition to keep alive, and a good way to make Mothering Sunday a special occasion.”

St Paul’s church always puts on a special service for the occasion, with the choir accompanied for part of the morning by harpist Helen Wyn Pari.

This year’s music includes “Amazing Grace” and “For The Beauty of the Earth” by the popular composer John Rutter, and extracts from “The Armed Man” mass by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins.

There’ll also be a special blessing for the simnel cake, and for all mothers.