Mothers' Union Ireland - Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union

Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union
Go to content

Mothers' Union Ireland

Mrs Sheran Harper

Mrs Sheran Harper was elected to succeed Lynne Tembey as Worldwide President of Mothers' Union. Sheran has made history by being the first person outside Great Britain to be elected Worldwide President

A record number of Mothers’ Union leaders from across the globe voted for Mrs Sheran Harper, who hails from Guyana, to represent and lead the 142 year old movement’s four million members in 84 countries.

“I am delighted to accept the role of Worldwide President for the new triennium. I feel very excited and privileged and I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our members who voted to make this dream a reality,” says Mrs Harper.

Sheran took take up her new position on 1st  January 2019.

We wish her every blessing in her role as Worldwide President.
June Butler MBE

June Butler MBE was elected to take up the role of All-Ireland President of Mothers' Union and we wish her every blessing in this new role.

The Mothers’ Union All-Ireland Commissioning Service of All-Ireland President June Butler MBE took place in Down Cathedral, English Street, Downpatrick BT30 6AB Northern Ireland on Sunday 24th March 2019 @ 3p.m.

June, who is a parishioner of Saintfield Parish, has been the MU Down and Dromore Diocesan President since January 2016. June is a member of both Down and Dromore Diocesan Council and General Synod.

June had the following to say about her election:
“Mothers’ Union is a member–led organisation and I feel both humbled and privileged to have been elected by members throughout Ireland as their next President.  For the three years beginning in January 2019 I will try my best, with God’s guidance and with support from all my talented colleagues, to lead Mothers’ Union in Ireland in a way that will encourage all our members to make a difference in their parishes and in their communities, as well as supporting projects worldwide. As ever, we will focus on the MU aims and objectives which are essentially to support family life in every context.”
The Commissioning of Mrs Sheran Harper as Worldwide President
& the new Global Trustee Board

Our Diocese was represented at the commissioning of Mrs Sheran Harper as World wide President of Mothers' Union in Southwark Cathedral by the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Right Revd. Justin Welby on Tuesday 26th February 2019.


The new global Trustee Board was also Commissioned by the Archbishop. They are Nikki Sweatman (South of England), Rev Libbie Crossman (Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Australia, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea), Canon Catherine Hilton (North of England), Jennifer Barton (Wales), June Buter (All Ireland), Thembsie Mchunu (Central Africa, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Southern Africa, Kathleen Snow (Canada, South America, U.S.A, West Indies), Roshini Mendis (Korea, Myanmar, North India, South India, Sri Lanka), Paul Hindle (Scotland), Deaconess (Mary Kamwati (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Jerusalem and the Middle East) and  Marie-Pierrette Bezara (Burundi, Congo, Indian Ocean, Rwanda, West Africa).
Commissioning of June Butler ~ All-Ireland President
& The New Trustee Board

The Commissioning of June Butler, All-Ireland President of Mothers' Union, and the new Trustee Board took place in Down Cathedral on Sunday 24th April 2019.
We wish them all well as they guide and lead Mothers' Union into the future.

Hilary Dring and our new All-Ireland Chaplain, Canon Robert Deane, were commissioned at the Sevice of Holy Communion at Spring Council on Saturday 6th April in Christ Church Cathedral , Dublin
What is Mothers' Union?

Mothers' Union is a global Christian membership charity that has been providing a support network for families since 1876. Working through our 4 million-strong membership we campaign for policies which strengthen family life. Our focus on ending gender-based violence is promoted not only through advocacy, but through working sensitively with communities for increased gender equality. Our focus on improving the lives of children is a combination of lobbying for political change on issues such as commercialisation of childhood, and on practical outreach in the provision of parenting groups. Our members work with families who are going through times of stress and hardship bringing spiritual and practical support.

Working as ambassadors for Christ our goal is to see all people enjoy loving, respectful and flourishing relationships.

Mothers' Union
Caring for Children & Families
around the World
Mothers' Union   

Vision: Our vision is of a world where God's love is shown through loving, respectful, and flourishing relationships.

Mission: To demonstrate the Christian faith in action by the transformation of communities worldwide through the nurture of the family in its many forms.

Objects: To promote and support married life. To encourage parents in their role to develop the faith of their children To maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children To help those whose family life has met with adversity

Values: Mothers' Union is firmly rooted in a voluntary ethos. Its governance, leadership, and programmes are driven by and undertaken through members around the world as they respond to God's call to faith and action.

Beliefs: We believe in the value of each individual and their unique qualities We believe in the value of relationships. Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.believe in the value of the family in its many forms as a source of love and support for individuals and the basis for a caring community
Links to useful Websites ~ Mothers' Union Ireland ~ The Diocese of Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Website ~ Mothers' Union Head Office ~ Mothers' Union Facebook ~ Church of Ireland Website

Mary Sumner

In 1876 Mary Sumner, a clergyman’s wife living in nearby Old Alresford,  became concerned about how local mothers related their Christian faith  to family life. Wanting to encourage them she founded a small group  called the Mothers’ Union. She lived to see it become a worldwide  organisation, now with millions of members. She is buried outside  Winchester Cathedral.   

Lynne Tembey laying Flowers on the grave of Mary Sumner ~ 2016

Mothers' Union Prayer

We pray for families around the world.
  Bless the work of the Mothers’ Union as we seek to share your love through the encouragement, strengthening and support of marriage and family life.
  Empowered by your spirit, may we be united in prayer and worship, and in love and service reach out as your hands across the world.
 In Jesus’ name.


Mary Sumner’s Personal Prayer

All this day, O Lord,
 let me touch as many lives as possible for thee;
 and every life I touch, do thou by thy spirit quicken,
 whether through the word I speak,
 the prayer I breathe,
 or the life I live.

A prayer from ‘Dear Lord’ for Indoor Members

Some things are ageless…..

God of my yesterdays and of my tomorrows you have used my past to shape me into the person I am today.
Now, as I look forward, give me courage and an open mind; help me trust that you will share with me whatever my future brings.
Then may I remember with wonder The way that you have met my need.

(Pam Snowman, Burley in Wharfdale MU, UK)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
The words ‘Father Forgive’ are used as the response in the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation:
‘All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’ Romans 3:23

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
Father forgive.
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
Father, forgive.
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Father, forgive.
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Father, forgive.
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
Father, forgive.
The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
Father, forgive.
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Father, forgive.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.
(The Coventry Litany of Reconciliation, by Canon Joseph Poole in 1958, is prayed in the new Cathedral every weekday at noon, and throughout the world by partners in the Community of the Cross of Nails.)

Walk with us in our journey of hope
All-Ireland Dates

Theme for 2024

Transformation - Now!


  • 1st January ~ New Year's Day
  • 6th January ~ The Feast of the Epiphany
  • 9th January ~ Trustees meeting via ZOOM
  • 11th January ~ Holy Communion Service in Armagh Diocese @ 7.30p.m. in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh (Cathedral Close, 43 Abbey Street, Armagh, BT61 7DY)


  • 1st February ~ St. Brigid's Day
  • 1st February ~ Holy Communion Service in Clogher Diocese ~ 11.00 a.m. in St. Macartin's Cathedral (Church Street, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh BT74 7DW
  • 5th February ~ St Brigid's Day Bank Holiday Monday (IRL)
  • 7th February ~ Annabella Hayes Day (More details to follow of event to be held via ZOOM)
  • 24th  February ~ All-Ireland Unit Coordinators' Meetings in CITI (The Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin. D14 KX24)
  • Note: All four units will meet in CITI on 24th


  • 1st March ~ St. David's Day & The World Day of Prayer
  • 2nd March ~ The Big Hymn Sing in St. Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny @ 2.00p.m. (The Close, Coach Road, Kilkenny City, R95 V63H)
  • 7th March ~ Holy Communion Service in Diocese of Tuam, Limerick & Killaloe (details to be confirmed)
  • 10th March ~ Mothering Sunday
  • 17th March ~ St. Patrick's Day
  • 18th March ~ St. Patrick's Day Bank Holiday Monday
  • 28th March ~ Maundy Thursday
  • 29th March ~ Good Friday
  • 31st March ~ Easter Sunday


  • 1st April ~ Easter Bank Holiday Monday
  • 11th April ~  Holy Communion Service in Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh Diocese  at 11.00a.m in St. John's Church, Longford (Church Street, Longford Town. N39 KP59)
  • 13th April ~ All Ireland Council meeting in Kilternan Parish Centre ( Kilternan Centre, Enniskerry Road, Kilternan,  D18 ET99)

  • 2nd May ~ All Ireland Service in Christ Church Cathedral @ 11.15 a.m. (Christchurch Place, Wood Quay, Dublin D08 TF98)
  • 9th May ~ Ascension Thursday
  • 10th - 11th  May ~ General Synod in Armagh City Hotel
  • 14th May ~ Day 3 of General Synod via ZOOM
  • Saturday 18th May ~  All Ireland Trustee meeting in person (venue to be confirmed)


  • 6th  June ~ Holy Communion Service Connor Diocese in All Saint's Parish Church, Antrim @ 7.30 p.m. (All saint's Parish Church, 1 Church Street, Antrim. BT41 4BE)


  • 4th July ~ Holy Communion Service in Cork, Cloyne & Ross Diocese in St Mary's Church, Fanlobbus Union, Dunmanway (Main Street, Dunmanway, Co. Cork.  P47 Y997

  • 1st  August ~ Holy Communion Service in Down & Dromore Diocese in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick @ 11.15 a.m. (English Street, Downpatrick. BT30 6AB
  • 9th  August ~ Mary Sumner Day


    • 5th September ~ Holy Communion Service in Meath & Kildare Diocese (Time and venue to be confirmed)
    • 17th to 19th September ~ National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois, Ireland ~ (Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory)
    • 28th September ~ All Ireland Trustee Meeting in person (Venue to be confirmed)


  • 3rd October ~ Holy Communion Service in Derry & Raphoe Diocese in St. Columb's Cathedral @11.00 a.m. (17 London Street, Londonderry. BT48 6RQ
  • 11th & 12th October ~ 2024 Getaway. Venue: The Armagh City Hotel, Armagh
  • 19th October ~ All Ireland Council Meeting, Springfield Hotel (Leixlip Road, Kildare, W23 W280)


  • 7th November ~ Holy Communion Service in Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Diocese in St. Mary's Parish, Carlow @ 11.30 a.m. (Church Street, Carlow. R93 YW77
  • 16th November ~ Big Hymn Sing in Ballymena (more details to follow)
  • 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Base Violence
Mothers’ Union All-Ireland Vigils 2024


  • 3rd December ~ All Ireland Trustee Meeting via ZOOM
  • 5th December ~  Holy Communion Service in Diocese of Dublin & Glendalough in Christ Church Cathedral @ 11.15 a.m (Christchurch Place, Wood Quay, Dublin D08 TF98)
  • 25th December ~ Christmas Day
Mothers' Union Leaflets

Mothers' Union produces many parenting leaflets and leaflets for families.

Click on the images on your left to download some of these leaflets.

Mothers' Union Parenting Leaflet

Mums Zone Leaflet
Mothers' Union

Click on the image above to access
dates from All-Ireland &
Mothers' Union Prayer Cycle 2022

Click on this image to view a video about
Mothers' Union

The Service of Thanksgiving ~ Photographs



Service of Thanksgiving

A Service of Thanksgiving for Mothers’ Union was held on 6th October 2018 in Christ Church Cathedral to mark the end of the current triennium. Mothers’ Union is deeply grateful to Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral for his invitation to the Cathedral. This was an opportunity to join together and to give thanks to God for all that He enabled Mothers' Union to achieve over the past triennium. The service was very special indeed and it is hoped that it is something that can be continued into the future. It is a feature of Mothers’ Union in York Province and the Trustees of Mothers’ Union hope that it is something that can be continued into the future in Ireland. The very foundation of Mothers’ Union is the love and presence of God in our hearts.

Many members from around the Diocese travelled to Dublin for the service and also some members joined the choir for this special occasion. The piece of stained glass to commemorate 130 years of Mothers’ Union in Ireland was also dedicated at this service.

This beautiful piece of stained glass was commissioned to celebrate 130 years of Mothers’ Union in Ireland ~ 1887 - 2017.
The piece was created by Irene McBride of Discovery Glass                                    
It is placed on the communion table in the Laurence O'Toole/Mothers' Union Chapel in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

What Does Mothers' Union Do?

Marriage & Family Life:
Promote Christian marriage; Marriage preparation: Encourage parents and  carers through Mothers' Union Parenting Groups: Running Parent and  Toddler Groups; Volunteering in Child Contact Centres: Helping children  and families feel welcome in Church.

Practical Care in Tough Times:
Caring for families in need; Working in partnership to support victims  of domestic abuse, refugees, asylum, seekers and the homeless, etc;  Offering holidays to needy families; Befriending families of those in  Prison.

Activities Worldwide:
Training Mothers' Union Workers in their local communities; Promoting  Parenting and Literacy and Development; Initiating Family Life  Programmes; Supporting Mothers’ Union Overseas and Relief Funds.

Campaigning for a Just Society:
Drawing attention to social concern issues; Supporting gender equality;  Lobbying Governments; Contributing to programmes at the United Nations;  Promoting Fair Trade.

Prayer is at the heart of everything we do in the Mothers' Union.  Members in Ireland are linked with members around the world through the  Wave of Prayer and from time to time visits are exchanged. Within  Ireland members enjoy fellowship through the development of North/South  links between Dioceses and individual Branches.


Thursdays in Black: Resistance and Resilience
The campaign is simple but profound. Wear black on Thursdays.  Wear a pin to declare you are part of the global movement resisting  attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence. Show your respect  for women who are resilient in the face of injustice and violence.  Encourage others to join you.
Often black has been used with negative racial connotations. In this campaign Black is used as a color of resistance and resilience.
At Autumn Council in the Springfield Hotel June Butler, All-Ireland President, encouraged us all to support this iniative. The trustees all wore black and are pictured below.

Click on the image above to read an interview
with June Butler about
"Thursdays in Black"
Mothers' Union ~ Wave of Prayer
June 2024

Click on the image above to access the Midday Prayers for June 2024

Wave of Prayer for Mothers’ Union
Lord, we pray for Mothers’ Union worldwide.

1-3 June: Johannesburg in South Africa; Kumi in  Uganda; Nsukka & Idoani in Nigeria; Derby in  England and Madhya Kerala in India

4-6 June: Ibba in South Sudan; Maseno North in  Kenya; Isiala-Ngwa & Ondo in Nigeria; Fredericton in Canada and Amritsar in India

7 June: MU locally / branch leaders

8-10 June: Yambio in South Sudan; Garissa in  Kenya; Mbamili in Nigeria; Hereford in England;  Willochra in Australia and Thailand

11-13 June: Mahajanga in Madagascar; Mara in  Tanzania; West Buganda in Uganda; Kwoi in  Nigeria; Newcastle in Australia and East Kerala in  India

14 June: MU nationally / Mary Sumner House staff

15-17 June: Bukavu in DR Congo; Nyahururu in  Kenya; Gboko in Nigeria; Portsmouth in England  and New Guinea Islands in Papua New Guinea

18-20 June: Rejaf in South Sudan; Military  Episcopate in Kenya; Doko & Owo in Nigeria;  Chelmsford in England and Jamaica & Cayman  Islands

21 June: MU worldwide / WW President and CEO 22-24 June: Rumonge in Burundi; Tabora in  Tanzania; Kabba & Bukuru in Nigeria; St Albans in  England and Nagpur in India

25-27 June: Table Bay in South Africa; Rift Valley in  Tanzania; Evo & Ijebu in Nigeria; Adelaide in  Australia and Taejon in South Korea 28 June: MU in the Diocese / Diocesan trustees

29-30 June: Eastern Zambia in Zambia; Mombasa in Kenya; Gwagwalada & Ekiti-West in Nigeria;  Leicester in England and Temotu in Solomon  Islands
Prayer of the month

God of unchanging power, your Holy Spirit
enables us to proclaim your love
in challenging times and places.
Give to all members of Mothers’ Union
steadfastness, fresh understanding
and a clear vision that, together, we may
continue the mission to which we are called.

Back to content