Catherington and Clanfield Mothers’ Union
Mothers’ Union is a worldwide organisation of over 4 million members in more than 80 countries, working towards improving family life through prayer, financial giving and volunteering.
It was founded in 1876 by Mary Sumner, who realised the enormous responsibility of motherhood as she watched her daughter and grandchild. The first MU meeting was held in her home at Old Alresford and for the next 9 years it was confined to that village. However in 1885 Mary Sumner spoke at a Church Congress in Portsmouth and such was her impact that others began to set up their own branches of what has become a global organisation.
Mothers’ Union exists to:
Uphold Christ’s teaching on marriage and promote its wider understanding.
Encourage parents to bring up their children in the faith and life of the church.
Maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service.
Promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children.
Help those whose family life has met with adversity.
At the Catherington and Clanfield Branch we have a monthly meeting (except during August) on the second Tuesday at 2pm at St James Church Hall Clanfield, where we enjoy a range of activities and speakers. We are a friendly group and welcome guests and potential new members. We also have an informal evening group for those who are unable to attend during afternoons.
In addition to meetings we support marriage and family life in the following ways:
Run 2 weekly groups; one for babies and one for toddlers
Raise money through a sponsored walk to provide holidays or days out for disadvantaged families
Support a church stall at Wedding Fairs
Visit a local nursing home several times a year to sing to them and join them at their communion service
Support Messy Church and other church activities such as Summer Teas and Tea Time Together
Provide essential toiletries for patients admitted from the A&E Department at QA Hospital
Support MU overseas projects
Elsewhere in Portsmouth Diocese MU members help at a Contact Centre providing a safe venue for separated parents to meet their children, knit for stillborn and premature babies, visit MU projects overseas and much more.
Nationally and internationally we are involved in literacy and parenting classes, in vital outreach projects in prisons, hospitals, refugee camps and wherever there is a need worldwide.
Mothers’ Union has a national voice and is consulted by government on a range of matters such as the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood, marriage and civil partnerships. It also has UN consultative status.
Prayer and Worship
This underpins what we do and meetings start with a short act of worship. We attend a communion service at All Saints Church on the fourth Wednesday in the month at 9.15am and have one or two short services and a Lent meditation built into our yearly programme. We can attend a Deanery and Diocesan Services and participate in Quiet Days.
Our members are not all mothers or even all women. The organisation is open to men and women, married, single, divorced, widowed.
There are various types of membership to suit different lifestyles. Most members belong to a branch attached to a church but some are diocesan members, central members or indoor members.
All members pay an annual subscription and receive a copy of Families Worldwide, which contains information on MU members and projects throughout the world, a daily prayer and some news features. A bi-monthly magazine Families First is available for a very reasonable subscription.
Find out more about Mothers’ Union at www.mothersunion.org and come along to one of our monthly meetings.