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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

Annabella Hayes Day 2023

An inaugural talk to celebrate Annabella Hayes Day will take place on Tuesday 7th February at 8p.m. This event will take place via zoom:
Topic: Annabella Hayes Day
Time: Feb 7, 2023 08:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 860 5665 4426
Passcode: 729823

Part of the event will feature a video which will go live at 8.30p.m. that evening and can be viewed on the link below:


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

Tel: +353 87 337 4090 / 087 3374090

                Public          Group

Part-time Administrator Post
The Provincial President and Trustee Board of Mothers’ Union of Ireland are seeking to appoint a Part–time Office Administrator to work as part of the All Ireland Mothers’ Union team. The post holder will support the work of Mothers’ Union throughout the dioceses in Ireland.

The successful candidate will be required to work flexibly, primarily from their home base but occasionally in other locations.
Hours: initially 12 hours per week. There may be additional hours offered when workload demands this.

Reasonable office and travelling expenses will be paid.

Further information, a job description, and the application form are available from All Ireland Mothers’ Union by email: allireland.mothersunion@gmail.com

Closing date for applications: Friday, 3rd March 2023

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 February 2023

We thank you Lord for making us part of your wonderful creation, for the different seasons and the hope for brighter days ahead. Give us wisdom to show what we can accomplish by trusting in you. We thank you for your ever present love and strength.

Lord you direct our steps as we press forward, even when the future is very uncertain, with so many struggling to make ends meet. Lord you fed the hungry and had no place to lay your head and so you know all our situations and we are always assured of your constant presence and love.
Father God, be with those who are suffering the ravages of a war thinking especially of the people of Ukraine. Change the hearts of those who desire evil into hearts that yearn for love so that peace may flourish throughout the land.

God of compassion look upon all those who are sick at home or in hospital. We pray for the doctors, nurses and carers who look after them. Bring comfort to those who mourn and those in any kind of distress.

We pray for our members throughout the world especially here in Ireland as we try to transform our lives into new ways of thinking. Keep us enthusiastic with our work in helping others as God has no hands but ours to do His will and further His kingdom.
As we embrace each new day Lord we ask that we will do it prayerfully led by your Holy Spirit as we seek your guidance.

Give us grace and understanding of your Holy Word and teachings, so that we might grow in fellowship one with another as members of your family.

In Jesus name we pray.

Commissioning of June Butler

All-Ireland President Mothers' Union
Letter from June ~ All-Ireland President ~ January 2023

Dear members and friends

As I am writing this on New Year’s Day may I take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year and trust that 2023 will bring you and your loved ones good health, much happiness and great satisfaction in all you do.  
It is also the season of Epiphany which, in Western Christianity, is when we commemorate the visit of the Magi bringing their gifts to the Christ Child.  Epiphany is sometimes called Three Kings' Day, and in some traditions  it is celebrated as Little Christmas. My husband and I used to celebrate it each year with Italian friends and that, for me, came to signify the real end of Christmas. I discovered then that it is a very special time for many of our friends throughout Europe.

That font of all knowledge, the internet, tells me that, on the other hand, Eastern Christians at Epiphany  commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.
The traditional date for the feast is January 6 and in Western churches, the eve of the feast is celebrated as Twelfth Night. One piece of information I didn’t know is that the Monday after Epiphany is known as Plough Monday. That apparently is when work resumed after the Christmas period  - it was the traditional start of the English agricultural year. References to Plough Monday date back to the late 15th century and some of the traditions associated with it are fascinating – for example a plough was hauled from house to house in a procession collecting money: the men were usually accompanied by musicians, an old woman or a boy dressed as an old woman called the "Bessy," and a man in the role of the "fool."  'Plough Pudding' originated in Norfolk – it is a boiled suet pudding, containing meat and onions.

That was all new to me but one tradition about Epiphany I have always known was that people should  remove their Christmas decorations before or on Epiphany Eve (Twelfth Night). By that time mine are long since back in the roof-space as I just want my home returned to “normal”  without all the paraphernalia around to collect dust!  However, something else I was unaware of is that those who do not remove their Christmas decorations on or before Epiphany Eve must leave them untouched until Candlemas on 2 February, the second opportunity to remove them; failure to observe this custom is considered inauspicious.
Certainly, I have usually only associated Epiphany with the Wise Men bringing gifts to the baby Jesus, so perhaps we should think about what gifts we can bring to others at this time of year.  I was intrigued that, over the Christmas period, a cartoon of Charlie Mackesy’s boo “The Boy, the Mole, the Horse and the Fox” was launched on BBC. The book is a story of friendship, relationships and life lessons for people of all ages….some very simple but important life lessons.
I was introduced to Mackesy’s work and philosophies by a friend last Easter and have actually used some of his worldly wisdom in a few reflections I have given to MU members at services since then. Let me give you a few examples.:
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” the Mole asked the boy. He replied “ I want to be kind”.   “ And nothing beats kindness” said the Horse, “ it sits behind all things.”  

The horse also later says: “Always remember that you are important, you matter, and you bring to the world things no one else can”. We should always remember that. We as individuals bring ourselves to every situation – we can easily bring the gift of kindness- a word, a smile or even a small gift to those who are in need. We can bring hope, compassion, warmth, empathy, thoughtfulness, to name only a few traits, without any real effort and at no material cost. What important gifts they could be to someone who is lonely or in despair.
So our season of Epiphany should focus on what we as human beings, as Christians, can give every day of every year. I will leave you with the final verse of the hymn “Lord for the Years” which we often sing in church around the beginning of the year.

“Lord for ourselves; in living power remake us -
self on the cross and Christ upon the throne,
past put behind us, for the future take us:
Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone”
My prayer for you is that, in living for Christ in 2023 and in every future year, you will bring your own special gifts to prevail in every situation – they are unique to you and it is so important that you use them to reach out to those in need.
With love and every blessing for 2023.

Joy Gordon writes:

As I am coming to the end of my term of office as Trustee of All Ireland and Dublin and Glendalough Mothers’ Union, I have been invited to write a short reflection.  

It is difficult, almost impossible to try and capture and share my experiences with you. Least you should think that the Trustee board sit around a big table, drink tea and make decisions from on high. It is truly, the very opposite. The Trustee board are the engine and powerhouse that drive, cajole and push Mothers’ Union to the forefront. The Rt. Rev. Bishop Andrew Forster recently described Mothers’ Union like a stone in a shoe and I love this description.  Sometimes Mothers’ Union may seem invisible but yet our presence is there. We may not have as big a membership as we would like but we are there, persistent and determined as we strive to practically and prayerfully nurture and support family life in communities in which we live and overseas.  

The Trustee board consists of members that have had the privilege and honour to have been elected, to the board by the membership. The role of Trustee and their representation as the voice of the membership is taken very seriously . All decisions taken and all planning is made with the member’s best interest to the forefront. The board members are a representative group of our membership, all coming from different backgrounds and life experiences.  It hasn’t always been plain sailing and like any good robust committee there has been much debate, heated conversation and conflict with difference voices and opinions aired. And what makes the Trustee board work in unity and strength is the shared commitment, dedication, belief and passion in the work of Mothers’ Union.

I recently helped prepare a quiet evening for our diocese and the reading and reflections were taken from Romans 12 verse 3-5. As part of the preparation, I shared a reflection written by Rachel Turner, who is a writer in the Day by Day with God bible notes. Rachel implies that many of us want to be good at everything or perhaps we may just feel we should be good at everything. Perhaps we feel that we should be good at serving, loving, helping those in need, administration, leadership, communication, teaching, encouraging, the list could go on. When we realise we  cannot  do it all, we feel weak and ashamed and even embarrassed  that we have failed. Rachel writes that in these verses Paul tells us that we are lying to ourselves. We were never meant to be great at everything. We were designed to have weaknesses and strengths. She points out that our weaknesses are a strategic choice by God to leave space in our lives. To leave space for us to be alongside others in theirs. Our weaknesses are designed for us to experience the utter joy of being part of the body of Christ. Rachel describes us as like a jigsaw puzzle piece, designed to lock into each other to create a strong useful body. She asks us to consider what it would be like if we began to accept and be grateful for our weaknesses because they create opportunities for others in our lives.  God is still growing and changing us. Our weaknesses today may be our strength tomorrow. Rachel encourages us to be graceful with ourselves and others, reaching out in each other’s weaknesses and calling for each other's strengths in our lives.

This reflection really struck a chord with me as I reflect on my years on both Trustee boards. It is the strength and weaknesses of the members that have created the strong useful Mothers’ Union body that it is today. Mothers’ Union is as relevant today as it was when it was first started in Ireland 135 years ago.

With God's love, grace and blessing, Mothers' Union continues to be courageous, bold and visionary as it listens and seeks to share Christian faith and reach out to the communities in which we live.

Advent is the season of hope as we wait patiently for the coming of the baby born in Bethlehem. For some it is a season of preparation and business, for others it may be a different Christmas to the familiar they have previously known and for others a season that can be challenging and not to be enjoyed.

Whichever one it may be for you, as you wait, may God bring you peace about your weaknesses and may you become acceptable and grateful for the opportunity of allowing others into your life.  I am and always will be so grateful for answering the call, allowing others into my life and having the opportunity to have been a piece in the puzzle that unites Mothers’ Union members throughout the world.

Wishing you all God's richest blessings,
Joy Gordon

Prayer Diary 2023
Click on the image above to download


Click on the Image above to download the latest newsletter from IAWN

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
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.

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 March 2023
  • 2nd March ~ Service in Christ Church Cathedral - Derry & Raphoe / Limerick & Killaloe

It is hoped that the service will be available to view on the Live Stream 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:

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.
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
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