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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


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 September 2023

Lord, we pray for:

Strength when we feel weak,
Encouragement when we feel undervalued,
Patience when we feel frustration,
Tolerance when we feel apathy,
Equipped when we feel inadequate,
Motivated when we feel sluggish,
Bravery when we feel afraid,
Eager when we feel reluctant,
Resilience when we feel overwhelmed.
Lord, we ask you to be with us always,
uplifting us and guiding us, as only you can.
We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Commissioning of June Butler

All-Ireland President Mothers' Union
Letter from June ~ All-Ireland President ~ June 2023
Hello Members and friends

As I write this in mid-July I cannot help but think what a strange year this has been in terms of weather – we in Ireland had a late spring and early summer like none I can remember with perpetual sun and gloriously warm days for many weeks. Then came the long overdue rain – accompanied by wind and often thunder and lightning which has now continued for several weeks. While we here are now wishing for a little more summer-like weather, the poor folks in south and eastern Europe, southern Asia and also in parts of the USA, are suffering in unprecedented heatwaves. Every week we hear of occurrences across our world which indicate the impact of climate change -  extreme rainfall, floods, heat bombs (that one a new expression for me!) wildfires, melting glaciers and ice caps ……and we think those could never happen in Ireland, but as they say “never say never”! We are learning, very late, that these extremes are indicative of our continued mistreatment of our earth.
We hope and pray that our moderate climate will continue to be just that…..and for me our adequate levels of rain and sun were evidenced – to wonderful effect - at the three Flower Festivals I have been fortunate to attend in recent weeks.  They all had different themes but the common factors were that they were all held in the beautiful surroundings of their parish churches, each parish had a weekend of celebration with musical events and services, the wonderful floral arrangements depicted, most imaginatively, relevant bible verses and the Festivals had the desired effect of opening and thus showcasing these splendid churches to their wider communities.
I am not going to bore you with a detailed commentary of the three festivals – nor am I going to attempt to rank them! – but I will give you a quick outline and if you weren’t able to visit any of them this year, I feel that you missed a treat.  The first was in mid-May at the parish of St Molua’s, Stormont, Belfast. Its theme was “Be Thou My Vision” taken from one of my favourite hymns. Many of the arrangements were based on bibles verses relating to light, guidance, vision and hope but I have to say my favourite was the one created around the pulpit, based on Psalm 119v105 – “Your work is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. Maybe I am prejudiced ….as I know it was created by one of my Down and Dromore MU friends, Sally McCurry, a very talented floral artist.

At St Molua’s the flowers were supplemented by an exhibition of fabulous quilts. I am no expert in such things but there are obviously many talented quilters in that parish. Each was a work of art in its own right! The time, patience and skill involved in creating such colourful masterpieces amazes me.   

At the end of May I moved west for a day to Clogher Diocese to visit the Festival at Saint Macartin’s Cathedral - the parish of Enniskillen. The floral arrangements on display were based on the signs and sayings in St John’s Gospel. In that wonderful environment of the Cathedral, which has in recent years been refurbished and redecorated, the colours and smells of the flowers was magnificent.  The “buzz” of the visitors added to the atmosphere….it was a memorable event and I am reluctant to single  out any of the arrangements but those at the front and around the alter will long remain in my memory. Let me give you one of my favourite verses which was skilfully depicted there: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” John 8v12.

My third venture was to the parish of Drumglass, at St Anne’s Church, Dungannon in mid-June. The theme for that festival was taken from Hebrews 13 v8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” and the bible verses chosen ranged across both Old and New Testaments. The interpretation of all the verses was so imaginative and again I marvelled at the skill involved in conveying the meanings through flowers – in some cases simple and in others with a great profusion of different types of flower and colour.  
I was drawn – of course – to the Mothers’ Union arrangement in the porch of the church. It was a wonderful profusion of flowers in the MU colours of blue and yellow beside the branch’s beautiful bright blue banner - quite a spectacle for those who entered that way.  This was one of the additional eleven exhibits which had been created by individual “Friends of Drumglass”.   I thought these were all as beautiful as those which had been created by the professionals for the main body of the Flower Festival – the skill of floral art is very much alive and well in Dungannon!   The MU arrangement was entitled “Make you His service your delight, your wants shall be His care” and the verse on which it was based was Colossians 3 V23 :” Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the lord, rather than for men”.

That verse perfectly depicts what all of us in Mothers’ Union try to do in serving others in our parishes and communities –  and those who planned and created these three brilliant Flower Festivals, and also the many folk who worked behind the scenes in stewarding, providing refreshments and music, keeping the churches tidy and preparing for the accompanying services,  were also working  heartily and willingly for our Lord.
I hope that you will all have a wonderful summer and enjoy – and appreciate – all  the flowers you see, wherever that may be. Also, whether indoors or outside,  please give a thought to how you might play your part in sustaining God’s precious  earth.

Wishing you every blessing
With love

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

Prayer Diary 2023
Click on the image above to download

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

Click above to download the
Booking Form for thge
Women's Weekend 2023
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.”
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.
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)
Christ Church Cathedral Dublin

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

Mothers’ Union Holy Communion Service

September 2023
  • Thursday 7th September 11.15a.m. ~ Cashel, Ferns, Ossory and Connor

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

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
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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