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Theme for 2022 ~ Transformation - Now!

Mothers' Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families of all faiths and none through practical outreach, prayer and advocating family friendly policies within both government and public life.

By supporting marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity, we tackle the most urgent needs challenging relationships and communities.
Our members are not all mothers, or even all women, but are single, married, parents, grandparents or young adults who are just beginning to express their social conscience.
For all 4.1 million members in 83 countries what Mothers' Union provides is a network through which they can serve Christ in their own community through prayer, financial support and actively working at grassroots level in programmes that meet local needs.


23rd September ~ Service for the Annual Gathering in St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast
24th September ~ Mothers' Union Annual Gathering 2022 ~ The International Conference Centre, Belfast

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The brilliant Axel Scheffler has produced a book about Covid-19 Coronavirus just for children

Do  you know of somebody who is cocooning or caring for someone vulnerable,  Age Action and the Irish Red Cross are giving grants to people in the  Republic of Ireland to help ease the problems faced by those who have to  social distance. Spread the word

The Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland has put together a super comprehensive booklet providing advice for people who have experienced a bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Two other booklets are also available in this series – one dealing with practicalities and the other a children’s story helping children to cope with the death of a loved one.

Click on the symbol below to access our BLOG.
This contains all our latest news.

The Administrative Officer
The Mothers' Union Office
St. Michan's Church
Church Street
Dublin 7

Tel: +353 87 337 4090 / 087 3374090

                Public          Group


FOOD,  a basic necessity for all of us and during the current crisis we all  want to do our best to ensure we provide for our families.

Unfortunately,  not all families can afford to stock up in case of emergency, in fact  for 1000s of families across Ireland, north and south, daily food poverty is a harsh reality.

Breakfast clubs and free school meals, where they are available, are a lifeline for many of these families.

However  with the closure of schools and colleges in the South and the likelihood that Northern Ireland will follow suit these families have been plunged into a totally unexpected crisis. They need our help now  more than ever!

How can you help? ~  Keep donating to community food banks; help local initiatives in your area to distribute food packages to those in need or if you can’t find such an initiative in your area maybe consider starting one!

When we all find ourselves facing the unknown, the smallest act of kindness can mean the world to someone in despair.

Prayer for June 2022

We give thanks for the work of the Mothers Union throughout the world.  We thank you for the friendships we have made and the communities of  support that have been built to your glory.

We pray for people everywhere who struggle. Those who are ill in body,  mind or spirit. Those who mourn. Those who worry or despair. Those  displaced by war and unrest.

We pray for peace in our world and especially in Ukraine.

And we pray for ourselves that you would help us strive first for your kingdom.

In Jesus name. Amen

School Days

As we approach the end of another school year, we pray for our children and young people; some completing their education, some progressing from primary  to secondary education; others undertaking or completing exams that will lead to decision making and change.

We pray that they will be guided wisely and realistically, supported and encouraged as they tackle new challenges. Protect each one through the school holidays when they are free from the structure and security of a school day. We ask in Jesus' name. Amen

(Adapted from the Dear Lord Prayer Book)

Commissioning of June Butler
All-Ireland President Mothers' Union
Letter from June ~ All-Ireland President ~ May 2022

Dear Members and Friends of Mothers’ Union
As I am writing this on an early morning in late spring, the birds outside are giving their full throttle to the dawn chorus. Talking to friends, I am assured that it is not only I who this year feel that they are louder and begin earlier in the day than in other years. Certainly, there seems to be more variety of birdsong wakening me each day and I just like to lie for a while listening as they communicate - or try to out-sing each other - before I turn on the radio and the saga of overnight horrors from our world is communicated to me.

Over the last few weeks the message of caring for this world seems to have resonated loudly around me - the first time it was while participating virtually in UNCSW 66 in March where the priority theme was “achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes”. I certainly learned much from those sessions about how women across the globe are adversely affected by climate change; to give you one very stark example, when there are floods caused by excess rainfall due to climate change, many more women than men are drowned because in less developed countries women are not taught to swim as it is thought to be “immodest”.

In last month’s piece on this website I mentioned that in early April I attended the “Creation Care” conference organised by the Church of Ireland’s Church and Society Commission, which was an enlightening experience. Not only did we all learn so much about what we should and might do to preserve our planet, but it was set in the context of a biblical perspective with some inspiring speakers. I referred to Dr Ruth Valerio, Director of Global Advocacy and Influencing at Tearfund,  who gave a workshop drawing on her wide experience and  she observed that projects to care for creation can transform churches and communities in many good ways She gave examples such as  a church in Brighton  which uses some parish land for a vegetable garden; a church in Leeds held a Climate Sunday Service, which led to an Eco-Team being formed to improve building efficiency; a church in Portadown has planted one acre of parish land with a mixture of sunflowers, linseed and flax, to provide food and habitat for birds, as well as generating income from sales of cut sunflowers -the profits will be used to install solar panels on the south facing church roof, to reduce heating and lighting costs in the future. Those were only some of the examples from these islands - we were told of many others from across the world and some of those, to provide power and grow new crops, are so important and life-changing for the people in their communities.  

One other thing which struck me from that conference was the passion of the younger generation towards the ill effects of climate change and the need to care for our world. There was a wonderful group of young people from All Saints’ Parish, Mullingar, and Wilson’s Hospital School, who told us all about their climate action project called, ‘Lighten our Darkness by Numbers’. Separately, they also run biodiversity enhancing projects across twelve churchyards in County Westmeath, called, ‘God’s Gardens of Hope’. They were so inspirational and we all should really follow their lead - they are our hope for the future.

Two other recent experiences will also stay with me. The first was planting 70 trees with the MU Trustees from the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe on the birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. It  was a glorious morning to be down on the banks of the River Faughan  - it wasn’t early morning but there was still plenty of birdsong to be heard in that quiet place. The event, planting cherry and  native oak saplings, was part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative aimed at increasing and protecting the native tree cover in the United Kingdom and is seen as a “special gift” for the Queen, in honour of her Platinum Jubilee. The second was a mission breakfast held on the second morning of General Synod when over 50 of us joined with Bishops’ Appeal, CMS and SAMS staff and volunteers to learn about the many eco projects in which those charities are involved worldwide and the impact on so many Christians and local communities.  It was truly humbling to learn what work is being done across God’s world and in His name, while we here take so much of that world for granted.

Through these events I have also been introduced to the work of Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) which encourages churches of all denominations to take an eco approach to worship, lifestyle, property and finance management, community outreach and contact with the developing world. Their vision is to see churches of all denominations throughout Ireland celebrate the gift of God’s creation, recognise the inter-dependence of all creation and care for it in their life and mission, and through members’ personal lifestyles. They also ask us to reflect on the beauty of God’s world and to consider what practical steps can be taken to prevent further damage to the environment and to pray for our wounded planet, for people in the developing world already affected by climate change and for future generations.

As the birdsong outside diminishes, I will now sign off and ask you just to look at the ECI website www.ecocongregationireland.com as I know you will learn a great deal more about these important matters for the future of our world and what we might do to help preserve it.  I think  it would be good for us to remember the verses from Job 12:7-10  at this time:
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”

My father’s favourite bible verse was from Psalm 24: “The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” - I try to remember that every day.  

O Lord, grant us the grace to grow deeper in our respect of and care for your Creation.
Help us to recognise the sacredness of all of your creatures as signs of your wondrous love.
Help us turn from the selfish consumption of resources meant for all and to see the impacts of our choices on the poor and vulnerable.
We pray for an end to the waste and desecration of God's creation and ask for access to the fruits of creation to be shared equally among all people, in order to bring freedom from poverty, famine, and oppression.
In Your name we pray. Amen
With love and prayers for you all as we enter this glorious season of summer.
Reflection prepared by the Primate, the Most Rev’d John F McDowell

“Early in the morning on the first day of the week…”.  John 20:1

It is easy to take the literary qualities of the Gospel writers for granted. They understood their primary task as that of laying out the significance of the person and work of Jesus Christ: who he was in relation to the Father, and what he had done for us and for all the world. Although the Evangelists writing styles varied according to ability, circumstances and taste, they did not pretend to be artists in the literary sense.

Yet I would guess that any contemporary novelist or poet will recognise the depth of potential carried by those opening words of the resurrection story, which are used in one form or another by all of the gospel writers. The words overflow with possibilities, not least because of the harrowed gloom that immediately precedes them.

In John’s Gospel it is Mary Magdalene who comes to the tomb “…while it was still dark…”. In that Gospel Jesus body had been prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, two wealthy Jews, who had brought a large quantity of spices (seventy-five pounds in weight) for the purpose.

To this day in many societies, particularly in the Middle East, it would be inconceivable to contract out the preparing of the body of a family member or a close friend for burial to a professional embalmer. Washing and preparing the body was and is a final act of love and respect, an intimate element of the rituals of farewell and finality which are associated with death. During the night, before the sun rose, on the first day of the week, the man who had once come to him in darkness, and the conscripted stranger from Arimathea performed the conclusive act of Jesus death, and sealed the tomb.

Then, with those simple words “Early in the morning on the first day of the week…” the tone shifts and lightens. Finality gives way to possibility and possibility gives way, first to fear, then to bewilderment and finally to a dim realisation that nothing will ever be the same again.

It was not unusual for those close to Jesus to react with fearfulness to some of the unusual things he said or to the mighty works which he performed. His love had no selfishness at all in it, and because of that, it burned like fire. It shouldn’t surprise us that the mightiest work of all, the Resurrection, should result in fear at times.

It was not that Jesus had somehow or another stepped over the grave. He had lain cold in it. What happened early in the morning on the first day of the week was not a revival to mortal life. Jesus wasn’t like poor Lazarus who had his death to die all over again.

This is how one of Church of Ireland’s greatest and saintliest, and almost totally forgotten, scholars put it in a sermon preached one Easter Day in the 1840s. The prose style is a little crowded for our more prosaic tastes, but it is worth savouring:

“We shall then awake and know ourselves the immortals that we are. This world is but the womb of eternity…Sooner would the Father yield his heavenly throne, than hold it and forsake us; sooner would he be no longer God than that the children of God fail to be children of the resurrection…In the lapse of a million of ages hence, for all we can tell, it may be the purpose of God that all this outward, visible universe, shall gradually give place to some new creation: that other planets shall circles other suns…that in slow progression the immense cycle of our present system of nature shall at length expire- but even then no decay shall touch the universe of souls. Even if there were millions of such cycles they would not consume even the first minute of the everlasting day; it is for these things you were born and unto this heritage you are redeemed”.

+John Armagh.
Prayer Diary 2022

Click on the image above to download  the 2022 Prayer Diary

Women's Getaway 2022

Click on the image above to download the poster
Click HERE to download the booking form

Loneliness Leaflet

Click on the image below to download a copy of
The Loneliness Leaflet

Click on the image above to download the latest report from
The International Anglican Women's Network

For lots of Resources on the main website click on the link below
The Mothers’ Union Annual Gathering 2022 will take place at the  Waterfront Hall, part of the International Convention Centre (ICC) in  the city of Belfast on the following dates: 23rd and 24th September 2022.

In 2022, the Mothers' Union annual theme is Transformation – Now! and this will be the focus of our time together.

The programme will be as follows:

Friday 23rd September:
4.30 pm & 7.00 pm: Services of Celebration, St Anne’s Cathedral

Saturday 24th September:
10.15 am – 3.45 pm: Annual Gathering, Waterfront Hall (doors open from 9.30am)
7.30 pm – 8.45 pm: Evening Concert, Waterfront Hall (doors open from 7.00pm)

Click HERE to bring you to the dedicated webpage and to book tickets for the events.

Mother's Union Annual Gathering 2022
23rd - 24th September 2022

Click on the image above to download the event pack
Click on the image above to download the prayers

Midday Prayers 2022: Transformation-Now!
26th May - 5th June
Thy Kingdom Come

As part of Mothers’ Union’s engagement with the global prayer movement Thy Kingdom Come we have produced special Midday Prayers for its duration using material from the Thy Kingdom Come resources.
For more information visit the Thy Kingdom Come Website: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/

This year’s MU Thy Kingdom Come service will be live streamed on our Facebook and YouTube at 2pm on Friday 27th May. Save the date now so you don’t miss it! You may like to watch it together with other members and friends of MU.
Mothers' Union
Showing Solidarity with the people of Ukraine

We are asked to stop at 7pm each evening and pray for the situation and  the people in the Ukraine.

The following prayer in a time of war  in the Ukraine has been provided by the Church of Ireland’s Liturgical  Advisory Committee for use in parishes.

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world:
We commend to your merciful care the people and government of Ukraine
that, being guided by your providence, they may dwell secure in your peace.
Grant to their leaders and all in authority,
wisdom and strength to know and to do your will.
Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness,
and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve their people;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Derry & Raphoe Tree Planting Ceremony

The All-Ireland President of Mothers’ Union, June Butler, joined  Diocesan President, Jacqui Armstrong, and members of the Derry and  Raphoe Mothers’ Union at a tree-planting ceremony on the outskirts of  Londonderry on Thursday, 21st April, to mark the Queen’s forthcoming platinum  jubilee.

Click on the image to bring you to the website for Derry & Raphoe Diocese to read more and view more photographs of the occasion.
Easter Day  2022
A Reflection by Revd. Canon Robert Deane

“Christ is risen! — The Lord is risen indeed! — Hallelujah!”

Easter is the most important time in the Christian calendar — it’s when we especially celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
The Resurrection is the climax of the Christian story. It is as if we take a giant leap out of all the darkness, grief and sorrow of Holy Week into light, joy and celebration as we hear the good news … the great and wonderful news … that “Christ is risen!” … that Jesus has been vindicated by God and that the seeming finality of death has been overcome … … that they could do their worst, but what they in fact did was to play into the hands of God, so much so, that, through the resurrection, the mighty power of his love could be most perfectly expressed.
The Resurrection is almost something too much to comprehend … … it’s certainly not very easy to understand … … as it was also for those first disciples! Within a few days, dark and dreadful events had taken place. All courage and hope had been swept away. With awful suddenness, literally overnight, their Lord and Master had been arrested, tried and executed, and they had run for cover. But on the third day … … on that first day of the week, that Sunday … he whom they had seen dead was alive, and what’s more they were to see him later the same day … that first Easter day!

Some have tried to debunk the Resurrection, and in doing so, have tried to offer all sorts of explanations to argue it away … that Jesus wasn’t actually dead … that he had fallen into a deep coma brought on by the awfulness of the trauma to his physical body. Some feel so strong about it all that they won’t admit even the possibility that the hand of God could possibly have been active! But not so the first disciples — they experienced not only the empty tomb and the sight of the strips of cloth folded as if still wrapped and in position around the body, only flattened — they also experienced the risen Lord himself — one-to-one — they could touch him, speak with him, eat with him, be with him — and yet not with a physical body like theirs, or ours, but a risen and glorified body, whatever that is actually!

Their experience of Jesus convinced them he was alive, and down the ages since, many people have believed accordingly, on the strength of the disciples’ testimony, which is where we find ourselves today.

We put our trust, faith and belief in Jesus because of their experience of the Risen Christ, and we share that experience with others through worship and when we try to share his love with others, thus experiencing in our day Christ who is alive, risen and glorified, who is with us day by day, which experience convinces us, drives us on, and gives us hope, courage, and above all, joy!

“Christ is risen! — The Lord is risen indeed! — Hallelujah!”

A Happy Easter to you and yours!
Amen .
Some prayers at Easter time

Let us pray:
Strengthen your Church to be the Body of Christ at work in the world; heal our divisions and imperfections; make whole this visible body so that it may truly reflect his glorious Body; and give grace to all ministers of the Gospel in proclaiming the message of the Resurrection.
Lord, in your mercy:
hear our prayer.

We pray that the joy of the Resurrection may be known throughout the world, that those who are ignorant of the love of Christ may feel his presence and share his risen life; may all human endeavour become part of the new creation and the life without end.
Lord, in your mercy:
hear our prayer.

Give grace this Easter time to heal the wounds of differences among our families, friends and neighbours; by the offering and acceptance of pardon where there has been wrong, may we together know the fullness of Easter-life.
Lord, in your mercy:
hear our prayer.

Grant knowledge of where true healing is to be found to all who suffer; heal hurt and broken bodies, give peace to troubled minds, restore hope to grieved and anxious spirits; lead all human sorrow through the pain of the dying Christ to the joy of his Resurrection.
Lord, in your mercy:
hear our prayer.

As we rejoice in the Resurrection of Christ our Saviour, we pray for all who, like him, have suffered the death of the body; we pray that the power which brought him from the grave may give them a part in his victory over death and in his risen life for ever.
Lord, in your mercy:
hear our prayer.

Risen with Christ and filled with new life, we pray as his people on earth.

A Prayer for Ukraine (issued by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland)

God of all peoples and nations,
who created all things alive and breathing, united and whole:
show us the way of peace that is your overwhelming presence.
We hold before you the peoples of Ukraine and Russia, every child and every adult.
We long for the time when weapons of war are beaten into ploughshares,
when nations no longer lift up sword against nation.
We cry out to you for peace;
protect those who only desire and deserve to live in security and safety;
comfort those who fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones;
be with those who are bereaved.
Change the hearts of those set on violence and aggression
and fill leaders with the wisdom that leads to peace.
Kindle again in us a love of our neighbour,
a passion for justice to prevail,
and a renewed recognition that we all play a part in peace.
Creator of all,
hear our prayer, bring us peace, and make us whole.

A Blessing

God the Father, by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead, raise you up to walk with him in the newness of his risen life:
and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be with you and your loved ones, now and always. Amen.

Click on the link below to view the All-Ireland Festival Service

Mothers’ Union All Ireland Festival Service

The Mothers’ Union All Ireland Festival Service took place on Sunday 27th  February 2022 in St Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh. The Mothers’ Union  theme for 2022 of “Transformation – Now!” was introduced and a number of people were commissioned to serve in their various roles by Archbishop John McDowell, who was the preacher at what was a very special service  of Choral Evensong. The Dean of Armagh – Very Revd Shane Forster, welcomed everyone to the Cathedral, as for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, a gathering of this size was possible.

Those commissioned were:

  • Mrs June Butler, for a second term as All Ireland President of the Mothers’ Union.

  • All Ireland Trustees: Joy Gordon, Hazel Speares, Margaret Jacob, Clare Stewart, Mavis Thompson, Ada Lawson and Ann Howard.

  • Revd Canon Ken Rue as the Mothers’ Union All Ireland Treasurer and Mrs Iris Suitor as the Mothers’ Union Zonal Trustee.

Heavenly Father,
May your light and love enfold all who mourn today
as a result of gender-based violence.
In particular, our thoughts rest with the Murphy family,
Ashling’s friends, pupils, school and community.
May the strength of your love support and hold them,
and the peace of your presence console them.

In the days and weeks ahead
stir us with a resolve not to be silent,
to continue to speak out for action on
#No more 1 in 3.

As Mothers’ Union members,
continue to use us as hands and feet in the world,
to raise awareness of what must be challenged and addressed.

We pray for transformation in our culture
which often finds it easier to judge the victims of violence
than to solve the problems of injustice.
We pray for a transformation of the violent way
some men act towards and think about women.
We pray for right and just relations
between women and men, girls and boys
that together we may transform and overcome violence
in all its forms and learn to celebrate
our diversity and interdependence.

May we unite together to champion
the cause of women and girls
to create an Ireland that is safe for all.
#No more 1 in 3

‘Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.’
Romans 12:21

Note: 1 in 3 women worldwide can expect to be affected by gender-based violence at some point in their lifetime (UN)
Christ Church Cathedral Dublin

Click on the image above to access
the live stream from the cathedral

Mothers’ Union Holy Communion Service
Thursday 2nd  2022
The next Mothers' Union service will take place in Christ Church Cathedral on Thursday 2nd June 2022, at 11.15am. ~ All-Ireland

It is hoped that the service will be available to view on the Live Stream Channel and it will also be uploaded (if possible) on to our own Youtube channel.

Mums' Marvellous Meals

The Mothers' Union Cookbook, "Mums' Marvellous Meals", was launched at our Special Council meeting on 22nd June.

The Cookbook contains recipes from members from all over Ireland and is divided into different sections ~ Starters, Main Courses, Desserts and Traditional Irish Recipes.


The Cookbook will go on sale for £ 5 or € 5 and all proceeds will go to the "Mums in May" fund.

Click on the image to view a video promoting the Cookbook
Reconnecting ~ A Guideline for Branches on Re-Opening

A Committee from All-Ireland has put together an excellent leaflet to guide branches in re-opening. We hope that this leaflet will give branches clear and precise guidelines on meeting up again and give them the confidence to move forward.

A big thank you to Hilary, June, Iris, Sophia and Lesley for all of the thought and effort they put into providing branches with these guidelines.

Click on the image to download the Leaflet

The Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line is a national freephone service
1800 80 70 77
It is available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.
Many people have experienced and will experience the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may have been a COVID-related death or a death from other causes. People may also be finding a previous bereavement more difficult at this time. While we may be seeing reductions in the number of deaths connected to COVID-19, we know that people’s pain and grief does not diminish as quickly. In the face of such loss and trauma, the Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line, in partnership with the HSE, has been launched to provide connection, comfort and support in these exceptional times. COVID-19 restrictions have changed the traditional ways we mark our grief. For the moment, it is not possible to come together as we did traditionally, resulting in additional challenges for those who are bereaved.

Click on the images to download a poster and information sheet & leaflet:

The Mothers’ Union Prayer

Loving Lord,
We thank you for your love so freely given to us all.
We pray for families around the world.
Bless the work of the Mothers' Union
as we seek to share your love
through the encouragement, strengthening and support of marriage and family life.
Empowered by your Spirit, may we be united in prayer and worship,
and in love and service reach out as your hands across the world.
In Jesus' name.

Portrait of
Mary Sumner

The Mary Sumner Prayer

Written in 1876 by Mothers' Union founder, Mary Sumner

All this day, O Lord,
let me touch as many lives as possible for thee;
and every life I touch, do thou by thy spirit quicken,
whether through the word I speak,
the prayer I breathe,
or the life I live.
Reference and administrative information

Republic of Ireland:
Mothers’ Union in Ireland is recognised as a Charity by the Revenue commissioners, 5161.
Registered charity number- 20007331 (Charities Regulatory Authority).

Northern Ireland:
Not registered with The Charity Commission NI as a single entity.
Instead individual diocese have been registered separately.
Mothers’ Union All-Ireland

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