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Theme for 2024 ~ 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.

Mothers’ Union Holy Communion Service
February 2024

1st February
Holy Communion Service in Clogher Diocese
11.00 a.m. in St. Macartin's Cathedral
(Church Street, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh BT74 7DW

Shopping online?
A quick reminder that Amazon
will donate 0.5% to Mothers’ Union if you shop through
smile.amazon.co.uk and select Mothers’ Union
as your preferred charity to support.

If you don’t shop at Amazon but shop at M & S, Argos, and Next etc.,
you can also support Mothers’ Union on your next shop.

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.

Click on the link below to view a video of
Mothers' Union in Ireland


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.

Mothers' Union All Ireland
Conference March 2023

Click on the image above to bring you to a page with reports
and photographs from The Triennial Training Weekend and
Conference in An Grianán, Termonfeckin

Prayer for March 2024

March is the month of expectation (Emily Dickinson) and as the meteorological winter recedes, there is much on the All Ireland calendar to anticipate:

Friday, March 8
th - Two referenda in the Republic of Ireland
Sunday, March 10th - Mothering Sunday
Sunday, March 17th - Saint Patrick’s Day
Sunday, March 31st - Easter Day

Lord of all Humanity,
Guide the people of the Republic of Ireland as they vote for changes to the Constitution, with especial reference to marriage and the role of women in family life.  We thank you for the reconvening of the Stormont Assembly and the restoration of power-sharing. You have taught us to be subject to the authorities and we pray for the governance of our land in both jurisdictions. May your people live by example: acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly before you. Amen.

Abba Father,
We ask your blessing on all who have the privilege, joy and challenge of raising children in an age of unprecedented anxiety among the young. We give thanks for the many positive influences on the lives of our children, for the love and protection of parents and in particular for the way mothers care for and nurture their families. Endow them with wisdom as they fulfil one of your most important callings. Amen.

High King of Heaven,
We praise you that in ancient days, through your servant Patrick, you shone the light of the Gospel on Ireland. Grant that your church may recover its missional heritage, willingly crossing all cultural barriers to creatively proclaim your love to all, to the glory of your name. Amen.

God of New Life,
In a world of anguish and sorrow, rekindle us by the power of the resurrection. In the darkness of war and cruelty, encourage us by the triumph of light over darkness. Through the pain of illness and separation, strengthen us in the hope that you have set before us in raising your son, Jesus, from the dead. Amen.


Commissioning of June Butler

All-Ireland President Mothers' Union

Click on the image above to
download the Booking Form
Letter from June ~ All-Ireland President ~ January 2024
Dear Friends and Members,

I am writing this in the week that ends with the Feast of Epiphany and to me that signifies the end of the Christmas season. Inevitably I wanted to find out more and googled it and if you have a half hour to spare you should do the same! Wikipedia has much fascinating information about Epiphany and, while I now know my prior knowledge was limited, it was basically correct  - in Western Christianity, the feast commemorates principally the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, and thus the physical manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles. ]I had forgotten that it is also known as Three Kings' Day and in some traditions celebrated as Little Christmas. Having just about put the excesses of food from Christmas 2023 behind me, I don’t think I want to start to think about Christmas again quite so soon!

I have always also associated Epiphany with journeys – maybe that began when I was a child learning about the journey of the three wise men or the Magi to Bethlehem, following the star and giving those gifts (two with very unusual names!) to the baby Jesus. In my adult years those journeys at this time of year have been more personal - first of all me and in later years our daughters leaving, after being home for Christmas, to return back to study at university and then, after they had graduated, sometimes returning to where they then lived to resume their normal working lives.

Since retiring from work (and sometimes beforehand through taking leave)  I often try to get away from Northern Ireland in January – I just don’t like that long, gloomy, cold month after the camaraderie, family times, and joy of the Christmas season. I have had two really great long January vacations – to New Zealand and Vietnam/Cambodia – but part of the joy is coming home and knowing that I have hopefully missed the worst of the winter weather. I sometimes think I may have a slight touch of that syndrome known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as I definitely feel much more alert and content when there is sunshine – and I can get outside into the garden or go for a long walk The strong winds and torrential rain we in Ireland have had in recent weeks has been dispiriting, but those occasional days with bright blue skies have broken the gloom and - as yet anyway – it has not been really cold.

So where will our Mothers’ Union journey take us this year? As this is a triennial year there will be elections for some roles – including for some Diocesan Presidents and also for the Provincial President. It is hard for me to believe that it is five years since I became the PP and, in this my sixth and final year, I hope to join with MU members at events in all those dioceses which I have not managed to visit recently. Thankfully, in 2021, I was able to complete Mums in May walks in every diocese and in 2022 and 2023 I returned to many for special services and events. My journeys across this island have taken me to many places I only knew as names and some of which I was completely unaware! Being your Provincial President has been a wonderful adventure as well as a great privilege.

St. Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny

Our focus in 2024 will be to fund raise again for Mums in May – we do that every third year across Ireland to replenish that Fund to enable us to continue helping our communities where the needs are greatest. There will be all types of local fundraising events but the main efforts will be the publication of a small puzzle book, which will be available to purchase in the spring, and also services where we will sing our favourite hymns. I have to admit that the latter was my idea after the resounding noise we collectively made at the evening concert in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast at the end of the 2022 Annual Gathering. We nearly raised the roof and I decided there and then that we needed an event focusing solely on hymn singing by Mothers’ Union members. In 2024 these are to be called “Big Hymn Sings” (BHS for short) – there will be two afternoon provincial events to launch and conclude these MIM fundraisers – the first in St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny on Saturday 2nd March @ 2p.m. and the final event in St Patrick’s Church in Ballymena on Saturday 16th November.  Between these there will be a series of BHS's in all the dioceses (at diocesan, area and even branch levels) and I will try to attend as many of these as I can. The hymns we sing at all these events will be the favourites as voted by members and I can’t wait to learn what those are! I look forward to we MU folk raising another few roofs across this island in the coming months.   

St Patrick's Church, Ballymena
Let me leave you with a prayer for our journey into the New Year; it is based on the poem written by Minnie Louise Haskins and revived by George VI in his Christmas message in 1940 when World War II was at a very difficult point. My prayer for everyone is that your journey in 2024 will be as successful as that of the Three Wise Men and that you will put your hand firmly into the hand of God and trust Him to guide you to fulfil your personal goals, whatever they may be.
With love and every blessing for good health and happiness this year.

I stood at the gate of the year, fearing to tread into the unknown
And a voice said “Put your hand into the hand of God, so that he can be with you every step of the way”.
So I ventured forth and, finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the future.
Lord, you have led me safely along the right path. You are at my side every step of my way, my strength and my guide.
For this I thank you, now and always. Amen

Click on the image below to view a video created for
The Annual Gathering 2023 in York

Click on the image below to go to All Ireland page with
pictures of the Commissioning Service in Armagh

Click on the link above to view the video recorded to celebrate
Annabella Hayes Day 2024

Click on the image to download a new leaflet  produced by
Mary Sumner House

Loneliness Leaflet

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

For lots of Resources on the main website click on the link below
Margaret Jacob, Editor of Focus
is pictured below with
the Chair of the Central Communications Board,
Bishop Pat Storey,
and Scott Hayes from
Ecclesiastical Insurance.

Our thanks to all who contribute news, articles
and photographs for Focus.

The latest edition of Focus is available
to download from the
Publications Page of the website.
Focus achieves a runners-up prize in
the Media Competition at General Synod

This year’s competition focused on print media in the Church of Ireland and celebrated the work of writers, designers and editors whose consistent and creative work produces our magazines throughout the year.

The competition was kindly sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance and prizes were presented by the Chair of the Central Communications Board, Bishop Pat Storey, and Scott Hayes from Ecclesiastical Insurance.

Focus, the Mothers’ Union All Ireland magazine, was the runner–up. This magazine, the judge concluded, is “clearly put together on a small budget but more than makes up for it in heart and the dedication of its members to serve Christ.”  The Ukrainian Teddy Bear project and the campaign to raise awareness of violence against women “show how this organisation remains endlessly relevant.”

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.
New All Ireland Mothers’ Union Chaplain

The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd John McDowell, has appointed the Archdeacon of Connor, the Ven Dr Stephen McBride, as the All Ireland Chaplain to the Mothers’ Union. Announcing the appointment, the Archbishop said:

“The Mothers’ Union has been at the heart of the worship and witness of the Church of Ireland for more than a century, and under the enthusiastic guidance of June Butler and the present leadership team continues to serve the Church with cheerfulness, modesty and devotion.

“I can think of no better person than Dr Stephen McBride to support and nurture this spirit of involvement and dedication (and fun) at the heart of the Church, so well supported by his wife Helen. I know too that their very much grown up children Rachael and Alex and their families will relish and support Stephen in his new role.

“Stephen was my training rector and, in those curacy years, impressed on me the importance of human relationships, especially the central relationship of marriage and family life, which are at the heart of our witness to the world.”

When he was approached by the Archbishop to take on the role of All Ireland Chaplain, Stephen said he was honoured to be considered as Canon Robert Deane’s successor and he looks forward to working alongside June Butler and the All Ireland Trustees and to meeting, worshipping with and supporting MU members across Ireland.   

The Venerable Dr Stephen McBride is Vicar of Antrim Parish, Archdeacon of Connor and the current Connor Diocesan MU Chaplain.  He has had a long association with the Mothers’ Union, first through his mother Claire who was a former Chairperson of the Holy Trinity and Immanuel Parish, Belfast, branch. His mother-in-law, the late Jean Clyde, held several diocesan posts in Connor and Armagh at executive level.  Stephen’s wife Helen has been a member of the Mothers’ Union from 1987 and was Branch Chairperson in Antrim Parish from 1996-2002.

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)

Mothers’ Union Holy Communion Service
March 2024

7th March
Holy Communion Service in Diocese of Tuam, Limerick & Killaloe ~
St. Flannan's Cathedral Co. Clare @ 10.30 a.m.

(The service will be live streamed via the cathedral website

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 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.
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.
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