What Do We Do?

kit bagsThe Mothers’ Union works with some of the most marginalised and neglected people throughout the world. We work in an exclusively local way via our network of paid workers (mostly overseas) and members. We encourage communities and families to work together to address hardship and discrimination by being part of those communities. Our programmes include emergency relief for disasters – big and small, sustainable development grants, parenting groups, marriage preparation, parenting group facilitation, prison ministry, community health education and care for the elderly and vulnerable.

We also work hard to tackle the root causes of deprivation and inequality and we speak out for the family at local, national and international levels. Members are regularly consulted about proposed policy changes from government. We also hold consultative status at the United Nations.




The Seeds We Sow

Mary Sumner House has launched a new initiative and theme for the year called “The Seeds We Sow.”

We want Mothers’ Union to grow and to achieve this we need seeds to nourish and seeds to flourish. Jesus’ Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:4-15 explains the nurturing of our faith through the metaphor of the sower and the seed – it is like a plant that can grow or die depending on how it is tended.

Without sowing any seeds we cannot expect to receive any kind of harvest. We want to sow seeds for the Mothers’ Union that will increase our membership.

Here in the Peterborough Diocese, we are gathering and training a diocesan team that will come and lead both deanery and branch meetings.

The resources for this programme are really very good and varied and we can tailor the meeting to your requirements.

The central theme is that we cannot expect to bring others into our wonderful organisation unless we inform them, are proud of all that we do and actively demonstrate the way in which we act as the hands and feet of God, sharing together in prayer and worship, love and service.

I leave you with the prayer for the theme and ask that you consider inviting our team to your meeting. Contact me in the first instance. Thank you.

God of welcome,
plant the seed of compassion

in those who hear
of our work.
Nourish it with the Holy Spirit
that vision will grow
and commitment
will flourish.

With my love and prayers,
Sara Ridley

Away From It All (AFIA)

Funds are raised to give families in need deserved holidays or day trips. 13 families from the diocese had holidays in 2009. More on AFIA holidays here.

Prayer Chain

The prayer chain runs in both Archdeaconries and offers prayer for a three week period for all those in need, anonymous or otherwise.

Pastoral Cards

If any members have something to celebrate, special birthday/ anniversary or are unwell/ in hospital/ bereaved or in need of our thoughts please let Pam Handley [01604 714560] know and she will make sure that a suitable card is sent.

Local Branch Projects

From parent and toddler groups, supporting those living with HIV and AIDS, though to visiting the sick and elderly.



There are six diocese links worldwide, in England we are linked with Birmingham diocese which is also part of the Province of Canterbury. We are linked with the dioceses of Pusan, Seoul and Taejon in South Korea with which our Anglican Diocese of Peterborough has made a Covenant. The four remaining link dioceses are in Africa. They are Bungoma diocese in Kenya on the Eastern Horn of Africa which also has strong ties with the Anglican Diocese of Peterborough, Manicaland in Zimbabwe down the south, Nike in Nigeria on the west coast of Africa and lastly Guinea which is also in the west of Africa.

We are able to email all our link dioceses except those in South Korea where we keep in postal contact with them. We send all of them greetings at Easter and Christmas, we remember them on Mary Sumner Day, we send them copies of our diocesan magazine Grapevine and the projects and events happening in Peterborough Diocese, our Wave of Prayer service is sent to them and they are remembered in our diocesan prayer diary over the year. Some of our contacts are the Diocesan Presidents, others are Community Development Co-ordinators and in Birmingham their Action and Outreach Co-ordinator.

Wheels AppealOur Action and Outreach committee deanery representatives have taken on the responsibility of writing to the South Korean dioceses, and to e-mail those in the other link dioceses. In the Peterborough diocese there is the Ten Pence on a Tuesday collection which is blessed at our service in November before the Forum meeting and when counted is sent to Mary Sumner House to support the work of the Mothers’ Union across the world. Many branches also support the Wheels Appeal cake bake sales to fund raise towards the cost of providing transport for the Community Development Co-ordinators in the very remote regions of Africa.

The Literacy Project

Teaching women and families, initially in Malawi, Sudan and Burundi, basic literacy and numeracy in community groups around subjects that concern them – health, crop growing etc. Since its inception over 35,000 people have been accredited as literate and thousands more have benefited.

The Family Life Project

Currently in Uganda that includes hygiene, farming and food-growing, animal husbandry and income generation. It also provides home-based carers for people living with HIV and AIDS and child-led families.

The Parenting Project

Mothers’ Union nationally trained coordinators facilitate groups of parents to develop positive parenting skills and build successful relationships. These groups are run for parents of children from pre-school to teens.

Ten Pence on Tuesdays

Once more I staggered home from Forum with buckets of money. Of course, to be truthful they went in the boot of a car. I counted it all up and sent to the Treasurer the grand sum of £1,687.76 which has been sent to the Worldwide Fund at Mary Sumner House. Thank you for your generosity. It makes a tremendous difference to the lives of our members worldwide. Sue Tringham