Mothers' Union


The Mothers’ Union is a worldwide charitable organisation which through its members, aims to support marriage and improve family life in local and global communities.


The MU was founded in 1876 by Mary Sumner (a Bishop’s wife and grandmother) whose vision was to unite families of all classes and situations in faith, prayer and mutual support. Today there are 4 million members in 83 countries. What a wonderful tribute to the prayerful mother who saw a need and had the courage to put it into practice.


All MU work is underpinned by prayer. All members use the Mothers’ Union Prayer at their meetings and services . Mary Sumner’s personal prayer was to ‘touch as many lives as possible…through the word I speak, the prayer I breathe or the life I live’ Members worldwide are upheld by a daily cycle of prayer. Each diocese is linked with members in other countries who pray for each other on specific days as part of the Wave of Prayer.

St. Mary’s St. Neots Branch

Although MU members work together to support the worldwide and local projects listed below, an important aspect of our membership is to care for and provide friendship and support for each other within the branch by being a listening ear and sending greeting cards in times of celebration and sadness. We meet on the 1st Thursday in the month at 7:30pm in the church hall. In our programme we try to address our faith, reflect on family life, become aware of needs in the local community and have fun! Visitors (men and women) are always welcome at our meetings.


All three Branch Leaders since the branch reopened in 2001. From left to right - Catherina Griffiths, Joanne Bowers and Sylvia Watson.


A programme is being developed for the second half of 2021.

The intended MU Programme for 2020 (undelivered after March - apart from August 9th - due to Covid) was:-

6 February: Games Evening

5 March:  Climate Change Initiatives     Speaker  Lottie Taylor

2 April : 2pm Quiet Afternoon in church led by Revd Canon Grant Fellows

7 May: Overseas evening  Speaker Gill Uttin, Ely Diocesan Worldwide Links Officer

4 June:  3pm Garden Tea Party at 76 Leys Road in aid of AFIA (Away From It All Holidays)

14 July:  2pm Visit from Shingay MU Branch. tour of the church followed by tea

August:  Mary Sumner Day. 9.30am Communion Service      Address by Mrs Hazel Williams, Ely MU Diocesan President

3 Sept: Assisi. Members who visited Assisi last year will share their experiences

1 Oct:  Members Evening

5 November : Revd Paul Hutchinson:  Building Hope and Confidence

 1  Dec:  11.00am Deanery Christmas Party  (Gifts in aid of The Refuge)

All meetings on 1st Thursday of the month at 7.30pm in the Church Rooms unless otherwise stated.

Global voice and government support

There are MU Representatives on Consultative committees at the UN with special reference to legislation affecting families. The UK government values the standards and opinions of the MU. Officers from Mary Sumner house are frequently consulted by the Government on national policies relating to family life. At branch level members are often asked to discuss relevant documents before presentation to Parliament.

Worldwide Projects

The MU is organised centrally from Mary Sumner House in London. The Worldwide President Rosemary Kempsall and Central Staff visit MU projects all over the world to encourage members and to oversee and assess the projects. These are financed by support from the members and money is also sent from a Relief Fund to MU workers in areas where natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and famine have occurred who know the local situation and can see that the money is properly used.Thanks to e-mail, we now have regular contact with Link Dioceses makes sharing news easier and more immediate. Other programmes currently in hand are:-

  • Literacy and Development Programme –Literacy and Numeracy courses in Burundi, Malawi, Sudan and the West Indies have enabled thousands of men and women to be literate and numerate thus improving their status and quality of life.

  • Parenting Groups – aim to improve family relationships, improve the status of women and involve men actively in their role as fathers.

  • Self-help Income Generating Projects – aim to encourage villagers to work together to improve health, sanitation, crop growing and craft projects to provide more income and better prospects for all the families.

  • HIV/AIDS Education – advice and teaching are given by specially trained workers to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Local Projects

The St. Mary’s St. Neots branch supports the following UK and Ely Diocesan Projects with prayer, goods and financial help.

  • AFIA (Away From It All) - Holidays in a caravan at Hunstanton for families needing a break following stressful situations.

  • Prison Support – Members run Coffee and Chat mornings at HMP Littlehey and share in the Sunday worship in the chapel.

  • Refuges and Hostels – Members provide clothes, toys, household items etc. to support women and children in two refuges and hostels for the homeless in the Diocese.

  • Contact Centres in Ely and Cambridge – Members support this project which provides opportunities for parents who are separated to meet and play with their children in a safe environment.

  • Knitting and Sewing projects – Members knit blankets and clothes for babies in the Neo-natal Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, deprived children in other countries and for any other appeals.

  • Baby Changing & Feeding Tent at Country Shows and other events.

  • In the Parish – we work with our parish priest by offering help with Tots Praise, new outreach initiatives, Baptism Anniversary cards and any other parish needs.


Catherina Griffiths:



The Mothers’ Union