Home Page - All-Ireland Mothers' Union

Go to content
Welcome to the ALL-IRELAND Mothers' Union website
To access all of the pages click on the menu bar
Find all the latest news on the scrolling section of the "Home Page" or on our BLOG section.
Just hold your mouse over any of the scrolling sections to stop them.
Theme for 2023 ~ 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.

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 December 2023

Advent – A Time of Waiting; Christmas - A Time Of Hope

“Why is there a war?… Because I and my
neighbour and everyone else do not have
enough love. Yet we could fight war and all its
excrescences by releasing, each day, the love
that is shackled inside us, and giving it a chance
to live...
…Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to
reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more
and more peace, and to reflect it towards others.
And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.”
Etty Hillesum

Etty Hillesum was a young Jewish woman who
was murdered in Auschwitz (1914–1943)

Advent - a time of waiting,
A time of patience, a time of not knowing;
So many living this reality each day.
We wait for God to be revealed, and yet,
Has the light not already broken in,
God’s tender compassion allowing the glimmer of dawn
To shine through into the darkness
So that light may shine on those who dwell in darkness
And on those who dwell in the shadow of death.
Are there not so many people in our world

Who dwell in that place, under that shadow?
May light break into their darkness
And may all the peoples of the world
allow their feet to be guided into the way of peace.
Lord, in your mercy and compassion
Grant us your peace, the peace which this world
cannot give.

Christmas – a time of hope
And so the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good
news of great joy which will be for all the people;
for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a
baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a
multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.”
Luke 2:12-14

Lord, in your mercy and compassion
Grant us your peace, the peace which this world cannot give.


Commissioning of June Butler

All-Ireland President Mothers' Union

Click above to bring you
to a website page to read
about this event and view photographs
Letter from June ~ All-Ireland President ~ June 2023
Dear Members and Friends

In John 8 v 12 we read: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

In these dark times worldwide - with wars, natural disasters and reports of happenings that generally reflect man’s inhumanity to man – it has been special for me to be able to be involved in some events recently which have brought light to my life and I trust to the lives of others.
I had been on holiday abroad with my family, which in itself was a special time with heat and beautiful light from the sun, and on my return to Ireland I went straight to the MU conference organised by the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross in Garryvoe. Over 50 ladies had a relaxing weekend of excellent fellowship (and food!) and we were treated to inspiring guidance on how we might transform ourselves (and bring more light into our personal world) by Lydia Monds, now Ministry Leader for the Church’s Ministry of Healing.

After a short sojourn at home, I was on the road again…. this time to the Dioceses of Armagh and then Derry and Raphoe where I was involved in two events for the National Churches Trust, which I chair in Northern Ireland.  As one of my daughters always says “every day is a school day” and for me these two events shed further light on the intricacies of essential church maintenance and how churches can (should?) use their volunteers to explain the heritage in our church buildings and our faith to the wider community.

I will return to my visit to Londonderry shortly, but from there I headed south to the Diocese of Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe where I was privileged to join Bishop Michael on the last stages of his peregrination (his word!) across this expansive diocese. There was a tradition in the former Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe to support overseas mission work in the period before Advent so Bishop Michael was doing just that: he was undertaking a musical marathon – visiting each of the parishes in his Diocese where he was playing the organ and getting everyone present to join him in singing Hymn 86 (Christ is the King, Oh friends rejoice…..).


As one of the two projects he was supporting was the MU Literacy project in Burundi, he had kindly invited me to join him, which I did for two days towards the end of his marathon. It was wonderful experience as I was able to visit churches big and very small in Co Galway, some in places of which I had never heard, and I was overwhelmed with the dedication and kindness of the clergy and parishioners. To quote from the final verse of that hymn, the tune of which I heard and sang so often in those couple of days that it is now engrained in my head: “…new lamps be lit, new tasks begun and the whole church at last be one.”  Bishop Michael is indeed lighting many new lamps of hope and empowerment not only in this expanded diocese but also by raising money for those who are disadvantaged by illiteracy in Burundi and Madagascar.

That brings me to the final lights – those on Christmas trees! I enjoyed visiting two Christmas Tree Festivals last week – in St Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry and in St John’s Parish in Killyleagh, Co Down, a few miles from my home. Both were truly splendid, were the result of months of planning and I do hope encouraged visitors to give generously to the worthy causes. In St Columb’s most of the trees were up both sides of the church but in St John’s, a much smaller building, there were trees absolutely everywhere - over 60 of them! The thing the two Festivals had in common was the community focus – the trees had not only been decorated by parish organisations but by local schools, businesses, and charities. I was overwhelmed in both locations by the ingenuity of some of the displays. For example, a local men’s shed in the north west had made a beautifully shaped Christmas tree out of small planks of wood whereas in the south east one simple entry, from the local post office, was of green boxes stacked in the shape of a tree.


Most of the trees were of the conventional type, some with white and some with multi-coloured lights, but each so carefully reflected a bible verse as well as the body from which it originated. I was drawn to the trees in both locations which had been decorated by the Mothers’ Union. Both had the theme of the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence” and, in line with the new “Rise UP” challenge, white and purple origami doves abounded! Congratulations to our members for keeping this area of our MU work to the fore even at Christmas Tree Festivals!

So, there has been a lot of light in my world for the past few weeks and I will leave you with the hope that you will be surrounded by the love and light of Christ in this Advent season. I would remind you of those other important words from John in C 1 V 5: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. At this time of year, some people can find life rather a trial for many reasons, but I would ask everyone to remember these words and that, no matter how difficult things may seem, there is always hope and the joy of having Jesus by our side. Just keep looking for the light!

With every blessing for a wonderful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year.


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 the inaugural
Annabella Hayes Day

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
January 2024

11th   January @ 7.30pm

St. Patrick’s   Cathedral, Armagh
Cathedral Close, 43   Abbey Street,
BT61 7DY

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.
Back to content