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Mary Sumner founded the Mothers’ Union in 1876; as a vicar’s wife and mother of 3 she was all too aware of the burdens and responsibilities of parenting and the feelings of inadequacy that could swamp young mothers. The central council was formed in London in 1896 when the mission and objectives were agreed.

Mission Statement

The mission is to demonstrate the Christian faith in action by the transformation of communities worldwide through the nurture of the family in its many forms.

The Mothers’ Union Objectives:

  • To promote and support married life
  • To encourage parents in their role to develop the faith of their children
  • To maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service
  • To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children
  • To help those whose family life has met with adversity.

135 years on and the support of family life is as necessary now as it was when Mary Sumner held her first meetings with young mothers. Today the members are not all mothers or all women. Single, married, parents, grandparents and young adults; membership is open to all who have been baptised and who support our mission and objects.

Among other things the Mothers’ Union has given evidence to the Royal Commission on Marriage and Divorce, sent a deputation to the Board of Education on religious education in schools and published a magazine called Families First. The Mothers’ Union has also held a campaign called Bye Buy Childhood, this led to Reg Bailey a MU member, chairing a government committee about the commercialisation of children – this is ongoing.

The SMAS branch sends donations to our Overseas Department, knitted teddies to Teddies for Tragedies, help with Bubbles and Messy Church and flowers in Church.

Prayer is at the centre of the MU and we take part with the Woman’s World Day of Prayer and our MU Wave of Prayer – MU members praying 24 hours a day 52 weeks of the year – we have a 30 minute slot in the year. All our work is underpinned with prayer and Mary Sumner’s personal prayer is still at the heart of all that is MU.

The Personal Prayer of Mary Sumner

All this day, O Lord, let me touch as many lives as possible for thee; and every life I touch, do thou by thy spirit quicken, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I breathe, or the life I lead. Amen.

MU contact for the SMAS branch is Mrs Sue Hayden - Telephone: 01954 260363

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