Mothers' Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families worldwide.
In 83 countries, our members share one heartfelt vision - to bring about a world where God's love is shown through loving, respectful and flourishing relationships. This is not a vague hope, but a goal we actively pursue through prayer, programmes, policy work and community relationships. 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. Single, married, parents, grandparents, or young adults just beginning to express their social conscience. For all 4 million members 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 the grassroots level in programmes that meet local needs. We lobby local and national governments on issues affecting family life and campaign to challenge legislation that neglects the vulnerable and marginalised. We are also represented at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Whether we have been blessed by having a strong family, with a dedicated supportive mother at the centre, or have had the tragedy of not having, most of us have an ideal of how family, especially parenting, should be.
Mary Sumner House, home of the MU, located near the Palace of Westminster in London
Mary Elizabeth Sumner, the founder of Mothers' Union and herself a mother of three, was all too aware of the burdens and responsibilities of parenting; of the feelings of inadequacy that could swamp young mothers.
1876: When her daughter, Margaret, had her first child Mary took the initial steps in founding a society for the support of women in their role as mothers. Mary recognised that good parenting was more than providing for the physical needs of the child, and she believed that the primary responsibility was to raise children in the love of God.
1896: The Central Council of Mothers' Union was formed and the first Central Constitution was agreed unifying members across diocese, into a national union with Mary Sumner as President. Members agreed objectives and a central vision that marriage, parenting and prayer were key to the future of families.