Frequently Asked Questions


  1. How did Mothers' Union start?

    Mothers' Union was started in England in 1876 by Mary Sumner, the wife of an Anglican clergyman, in response to her own awareness of the enormous responsibility that motherhood brought. Her vision was of providing a forum whereby all classes could unite in faith and prayer to support mothers, helping to fulfill their responsibility for the material and spiritual well-being of their children. The Mothers' Union now has over 4 million members world-wide, committed to supporting the family.

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  2. What does Mothers' Union do today?

    Not much has changed. Today Mothers' Union has a membership of 4 million people, women and men in 81 countries, all working towards improving and supporting family life in their communities through prayer and practical support.

    We have a voice at the United Nations and are consulted by government on issues affecting family life, such as the recent flexible families bill.

    Here in Chester Diocese we are involved in local projects supporting families in womens' refuges, neonatal units, prisons, contact centres, at the Cheshire Show and in a wide range of local initiatives.

    The wave of prayer takes place throughout every day, which means that there is always a Mothers' Union branch praying somewhere in the world. Here in Chester we sustain this wave of prayer in the month of March.

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  3. How does Mothers Union affect UK society today?

    Mothers' Union, through its social policy work, is concerned about building just and compassionate societies. Our Christian beliefs are the context for our thinking about ethical, social and moral issues that affect families. In the UK, Mothers' Union works to influence society for the good in two ways: by encouraging members to understand the issues that are affecting families and to take action individually, and with other members, at a national level and; by expressing its views through its involvement as a member of such bodies as The Women's National Commission, The All Party Parliamentary Group on Parenting, and The Parenting Education and Support Forum (for further information on our national involvement in issues and policies see the Central Mothers' Union website).

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  4. Who are Chester Mothers' Union?

    With 4 million members, Mothers' Union is the largest Christian women's organisation in the world with members in 81 countries, from Angola to Zimbabwe, united by a common commitment to Christian family life.

    In Chester Diocese we have 110 branches with about 3000 members. We have our own personal worldwide links with 6 dioceses and have set up a soup kitchen project with Cape Town which receives support from the membership and provides 32 soup kitchens throughout the winter months.

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  5. What is Mary Sumner House?

    Mary Sumner House is our headquarters in Westminster, London, opened in 1925. Its construction was funded by members' contributions - no member was allowed to give more than 6d (about 2 new pence). It houses a Chapel which has many memorials to the history of the Society, where prayers are said daily, the offices of the central Mothers' Union, a shop and conference facilities.

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  6. How can I make a donation?

    You can send a cheque, draft or postal order, in Pounds Sterling, made out to:

    Mothers' Union
    Chester Diocese
    9 Abbey Square
    Chester CH1 2HU
    (+44) 01244 400491

    Please do not send cash in the post. Alternatively the Central Mothers' Union website now accepts online donations on the Central Mothers' Union website. Thank you for your support.

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  7. How can I find out more?

    To learn more about Mothers' Union please contact us.

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