Happy Birthday to Mothers’ Union!

2016 will see the world’s largest lay-Christian membership charity, Mothers’ Union, mark 140 years of faithful outreach to families of all faiths and none. Since 1876, when Mary Sumner first brought together parents in her own Hampshire parish to build their confidence in bringing up their children, it has grown to an organisation of over four million women – and men – in over 80 countries of the world. 

Why celebrate 140th, rather than wait for 150th? In the first book of Samuel he marks an unlooked for victory against the mighty Philistines by erecting a stone, naming it “Ebenezer” meaning “stone of help” as a permanent reminder of the leading and guidance of God “Thus far has the Lord helped us”.  

Over the past 140 years, Mothers’ Union has faced, and will continue to face, many challenges. Family life is under increasing pressure and the call on charitable resources is higher today than ever before. But we can look at how we are meeting these challenges and say, like Samuel, “Thus far has the Lord helped us.” 

Special anniversary services and celebration events are planned during the year, including a Celebration Service in Winchester Cathedral on the 22nd September; returning full-circle to where Mothers’ Union was founded. New service resources for Mothering Sunday, Lady Day (4th April) and Mary Sumner Day (9th August), are available on Mothers’ Union’s website to enable churches to join us and hold their own celebratory events. 

Alongside worship and thanksgiving the charity aims to help over 500,000 people through its practical action work during the year.  To meet this challenge it has set a fundraising target of £1,400,000 to support its work and outreach in the UK and overseas. To find out how you can help Mothers’ Union celebrate 140 years of faith in action contact our office on 020 7222 5533 or email communications@mothersunion.org