Marriage and Family Life

What we do
Marriage and Family Life Promote Christian marriage, marriage preparation ...
Practical care in tough times
Practical care in tough times Caring for families in need Working in partnership ...
Activities Worldwide
Activities Worldwide Training Mothers' union Workers in their local ...
Campaigning For A Just Society
Campaigning For A Just Society Drawing attention to social concern issues ...
Prayer Prayer is at the heart of everything ...

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.


29th of March

Mothers’ Union All-Ireland

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin at 3:15 pm

Evensong Service with guest speaker

Worldwide President, Sheran Harper

Mothers’ Union Theme for 2020

“Building hope and confidence."

Order you Mothers' Union 2020 Diary and Calendar range
From your Diocesan MUe Rep

I am an individual jam jar you can spread me on your toast
Upon a scone I’m truly delicious
Once my jam is finished, my life it is so short
Could I be recycled?

Now my inside is all a jingle
My heart is full of joy
Those ladies from the MU have given me a task
To help raise lots of money!

Why not Reuse & recycle your small jam jars for Overseas!

Women's Weekend 2019
18th / 19th October
Armagh City Hotel

Speakers: Bishop Ken Clarke & Helen Clarke

Booking Form

Thank you to our Mothers' Union Knitters You to do a tremendous job and it is much appreciated

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Base Violence
Mothers’ Union All-Ireland Vigils 2019
Saturday 23rd November
Find your nearest vigil - venue date & time

Mary Sumner House information for 16 Days of Activism


Hello Everyone,

This summer has been like the proverbial curate’s egg for me - very busy in parts but with a few weeks when my MU life was much quieter. I managed two short bursts of complete break - the first when some family members came from England over the period of The Open in Portrush and then in August when I flew to Spain to spend five days with my daughter and her family. That weekend was the one where there was torrential rain in Ireland while we were basking in wall-to-wall sunshine - for once I got it right!

Again I followed the sun in September but this time to the MU General Meeting in Portsmouth. About 25 Mothers’ Union members from six of our dioceses - Armagh, Cashel, Cork, Connor, Derry and Raphoe and Down and Dromore - travelled to the south of England for the services and the Meeting which were held on 17 and 18 September. The General Meeting for Britain and Ireland is held in a different province in these islands each year and it was the turn of Canterbury. Portsmouth proved to be a great location - in fact the GM had been held there some years before and it had been decided to use the venue again.

As is the norm, special services of Holy Communion were held in Portsmouth Cathedral on Tuesday afternoon and evening prior to the Meeting the following day, The preacher at both services was Rev Canon Angela Tilby, who spoke on wisdom and she compared the visionary scholar and 12th century saint, Hildegard of Bingen, whose feast day was that very day, to the founder of Mothers’ Union, Mary Sumner.

On Wednesday for both morning and afternoon sessions, over 1000 members, a few of whom had travelled from countries across the world, attended the national conference in Portsmouth Guildhall. The venue was particularly poignant for all the members as Mary Sumner had been invited by the Bishop of Portsmouth to make her first ever public speaking appearance in that city in 1885.

On this occasion, our main speaker was the Worldwide President, Sheran Harper, who spoke about some of her experiences during her first nine months in office. She had us all enthralled as she spoke about projects managed by MU members - supporting children orphaned after the recent bombings in Sri Lanka, transforming family life in Argentina and working in prison family centres in Wales. She told us that in Madagascar, after the recent cyclone, the members were working within their communities to address the issue of environmental preservation and have cultivated a fast growing grass called Vetiver which preserves the soil during the rainy season, enabling special trees to be planted as a barrier when cyclones hit.

Sheran thanked everyone present for their work for MU and said she believed no other experience can give such satisfaction as our commitment to serving God and those around us. She told us we should be “the living proof of a loving God.”

I chaired the next session, a panel discussion entitled “From Small Shoots”; this focussed on innovative projects in Britain and Ireland which were positively impacting our communities. Deborah Munday from Scotland spoke about how their members responded to a request of help from clergy, providing local families with clothes and school equipment for children. Caroline Collins of Liverpool diocese spoke about how members made little “bags of love” for mums and dads dropping off their children at their first day of school to let them know that they were being thought of and prayed for. Kathleen Wilson from Durham described how they had been approached by a prison chaplain and Mothers’ Union members volunteered to set up a branch of MU in the prison. Now this has 15 members and the project has gained recognition culminating in MU being invited to participate in a meeting in the House of Lords during Prisons Week. I spoke about the increasing involvement of members from Down and Dromore Diocese within Hydebank Wood College, the women’s prison in south Belfast. All these projects started from small ideas and have flourished in many ways to support local communities.

After lunch the key speakers were the Chief Executive, Bev Julien, who spoke about the various matters agreed at the recent Worldwide Councilin Rwanda and how these would be taken forward. She also updated members on the progress of a number of initiatives such as the database and Communities of Interest, gave a financial update and referred to some of the moments of impact MU has had over the past year, such as our Thy Kingdom Come service in Coventry and Sheran addressing General Synod of the Church of England in July.

The guest speaker for the afternoon was the Rev Barry Hill, himself a proud Mothers’ Union member! Barry spoke to delegates on evangelism, discipleship and how to work well with clergy. Sharing specific stories of the “mini-revolutions of mission” Mothers’ Union are making in areas like gender-based violence, education, exploitation and prison work, he encouraged everyone not to settle for too small a vision of the difference Mothers’ Union can make. To quote Barry: “Whilst Mothers’ Unions are often known for being excellent at hospitality, we know cuppas and cakes are only a tiny part of the bigger calling. Most of our country know a committed Christian, most don’t know a vicar. Mothers’ Union members are brilliantly placed to share faith and make a practical Kingdom-of-God-difference Monday to Saturday.”

Finally, Adam Sach, MU Head of Fundraising and Communications, spoke about our untapped potential and asked us to consider what it was that made us proud to be members of Mothers’ Union. He implored us to be more visible, to encourage more people to become involved and to work to secure funds to make a real difference to the lives of people worldwide,

At various times throughout the whole day we had short periods of very meaningful worship but the one phrase that I will always remember from the Portsmouth gathering came from Rev Barry: “Prayer is the wind turbine of the church”. What a superb concept! I will never pass a wind turbine again without making that association and even issuing a short prayer.

We, the members in Ireland, will indeed need much prayer in the coming year - it has now been revealed that the 2020 General Meeting will be held in Belfast over the last weekend in September. This will involve a great deal of hard work and preparation, but we are able and willing and, with God’s help, we will succeed!

There has been one other event which has occurred since our return from Portsmouth which I think members may find of interest. Seven Mothers’ Union members attended a seminar held in Seagoe Parish Centre in Portadown which focussed on the question of gender justice. It was hosted by the Church of Ireland’s Church and Society Commission (CASC) and many groups with differing perspectives were represented. The purpose of the seminar was to try to establish how our church might be better informed on gender justice and related matters, how we might raise awareness of such issues and make an impact within our church, and with whom the church might partner to take this forward. There were many useful discussions which significantly widened the scope of the topic and CASC will review these and are likely to make recommendations in their report to next year’s General Synod.

One of our representatives was Jacqui Armstrong, now DP in Derry and Raphoe Diocese, who leads for MU throughout Ireland on our annual “16 days campaign” to raise awareness of domestic abuse and gender-based violence. Jacqui made a great presentation at the seminar and everyone there, including the Archbishop and Bishop, began to realise the work MU have already done in the area of gender justice. I have no doubt that the profile of MU has been raised in the eye of the Church of Ireland, as well as several other groups, and we will now see where this may lead us!

I hope that you have found all this interesting, even if it is rather lengthy. I wish you all a season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness” as we move into autumn and hope that our harvest of ideas too will bear fruit throughout the next year of our work in Ireland.

To end, a very appropriate short prayer from the General Meeting, based on this year’s theme


Help us to listen - to hear your voice above the clamour of the world

Help us to observe - to see the world through your eyes

Help us to act - with insight and integrity

to bring glory to your name.” Amen

Wishing you God’s richest blessings and with love

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. Readmore


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