The Mothers’ Union was founded by Mary Sumner, the wife of a Hampshire vicar in 1876. From very small beginnings at the Old Rectory, Alresford has now grown to be one of the largest worldwide organisations of women with more than 3 million members and branches in 271 countries. The main aim of the Mothers’ Union in its early days was to help and support parents with young families and to promote the sanctity of marriage.These ideals are still as relevant today as they were long ago.
This branch of St. Cuthbert’s Mothers’ Union was established in 1909, and we continue to be a thriving branch with more than 70 members and we continue to grow as young mothers join us.
We hold quarterly evening meetings to enable younger members who have families to attend. It is very important for the future of Mothers Union that we have established this link with a younger generation. We remain very thankful to those members who still continue to support our branch, having done so over many years, giving of their time and commitment in so many ways.
From our present and past members Mrs Brenda Sherlock was enrolling member from 1978 to 1983, Mrs Chris Pearson (who now lives in Weston-super-Mare) was enrolling member from 1984 to 1988, from 1989 to 1995 it was Mrs Audrey Acton, from 1995 to 1998 Mrs Chris Pearson took the helm again and from then to the present day Mrs Margaret Fisher has continued the good work of those who have gone before. We raise funds for many projects overseas in areas of poverty, HIV/Aids and malnutrition, as well as here at home with parenting classes, work in prisons etc.
We aim to have an active role in the life of St. Cuthbert’s Church. Many of our members are in the Pastoral Care Team, as well as supporting young families through the Mums & Toddlers Group .
We hope and pray that St Cuthbert’s Mothers’ Union may continue to flourish for many more years to come.
Mothers’ Union – Mums and Toddlers
Each MU group runs a project with the aim of serving its parish and the wider community. Our project is Mums and Toddlers, founded in 1994 when Audrey Acton was our MU leader.We are open on term-time Wednesday mornings. Parents, grandparents and sometimes child minders come to relax and chat in our large Parish Hall. For the children we offer play activities. Our equipment has mostly been donated.We have a slide, Wendy House,play kitchen and the usual dressing-up, soft toys,dolls,cars etc.We also offer a craft table and a singing and percussion time, when we sing “Happy Birthday” at important milestones. We are recommended to new parents by health visitors. New parents are sometimes well established locally, but having a baby means a break from work and establishing new routines, with new support. Some parents who have come to work locally, are “new” and know few people. Recently, I met a Mum whose child is now at Key Stage 2, who told me how lonely she was before she joined our group, and that now her best friends are all couples she met at our group.
We sing nursery rhymes but not Gospel songs because we want nobody to feel excluded.We advertise Cuthbert Bear Club, Cuthbert Sunday Club and all Church activities relating to families,and parents ask us about the uniformed organisations. Last year we sent £800 to Mary Sumner House, the worldwide H/Q for MU.This money will support relief and development work internationally, to further our aim to offer “Christian care for families worldwide”.
We are able to run our group because we can rely on the support of the parishioners of St. Cuthbert’s.We thank all who join us and help provide tea, coffee and drinks for the children. Margaret Fisher, our MU leader, works very hard to support our group.We also never forget the invaluable contribution of the late Marion Child.
Our well attended Toddler group reminds us that we can choose not to be helpless in the face of destructive forces, but to work for a better world in small, achievable ways. Mary Willis