In order to carry out this aim, its objects are
- To uphold Christ’s teaching on marriage and promote its wider understanding.
- To encourage parents to bring up their children in the faith and life of the church.
- To maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service.
- To promote conditions in society favourable to a stable family life and the protection of children.
- To help those whose family life has met with adversity.
Barbara Haynes would like to tell you more about the Mothers’ Union.
In 1876 Mary Sumner, the wife of a priest in the parish of Old Arlesford, Hampshire, met with the women of the parish to form a Mothers’ Union where all classes could unite in prayer and faith. From this small, but enthusiastic beginning the Mothers’ Union was started. Today it has over 4 million members in 83 countries. Prayer became the foundation of the MU and has helped it to achieve so much over the years.
What has the MU achieved, you might ask. Where do we begin?
MU works in parishes, through the branches; in each diocese, through committees (who give guidance to the members), each committee has a dedicated job, and these are faith and policy, action and outreach, including worldwide work, marketing and of course finance.
Members all try to play a part to improve family life in their local community and throughout the world through prayer and practical action. We are represented at the United Nations and therefore have a global voice to influence world leaders on matters concerning family welfare and poverty, and are consulted by our government on matters concerning family life, when every member has the opportunity to discuss and submit their views. The MU literacy programme has empowered the women in Africa, giving them dignity and enabling them to help their children to learn. The branch in Baghdad, Iraq (2,000 plus members!) not only provides practical help, in the form of clothing, a community kitchen, help in the health clinic but also they work very hard to reach out to non-church communities to work towards reconciliation between people of different faiths.
Here, in Peterborough diocese, our members carry out many projects. We knit blankets, jumpers, hats, etc, to be sent abroad to wherever the need is. Currently many very colourful teddies have been arriving at all the police stations in Northamptonshire and the police hand them to children that arrive with an adult in a traumatic situation. We are told by the police that they are a great comfort to these children. You’ve guessed it, they, all 4,000 or so, have been knitted by our members. The Away From It All holiday scheme provides holidays for families who are experiencing stress in their lives for whatever reason.
I hope that this has given you just a taste of the practical help that MU gives.
Members, of course, support one another through prayer and fellowship. Certainly there is plenty of room for fun. You could also be a part of this. Please browse the website for further information on our projects, events, prayers and of course membership. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please see the Contacts page.