Mothers’ Union and Social Justice
MU Australia is a mission agency of the Anglican Church of Australia and is a part of the worldwide Mothers’ Union. MU seeks to share Christ’s love by encouraging, strengthening and supporting marriage and family life, particularly those whose lives have met with adversity.
MU has five objectives:
- To promote and support marriage and family 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.
MU provides a network to serve Christ in the parish, the community, and worldwide, through prayer, financial support and actively working in programs that meet local needs. Mothers’ Union is held in such high esteem that it has representatives on the UN Consultative Council and addresses issues across the world concerning families, such as gender inequality, violence against women and girls and the rights of the child.
Mothers’ Union is very active across the world, particularly in Great Britain, Africa, Asia, PNG and the Pacific Islands. Here in Australia, our main work is to support our sisters in places where they have the will to serve but not the resources. We do this by praying regularly for them and by sending them funds to help run programs such as literacy, health and hygiene, HIV-AIDS and parenting. We also help to educate indigenous women in Northern Territory and fund an MU worker in the NT.
In our own Newcastle Diocese, the work of MU is carried out in many ways, at parish level most branches are involved in many activities especially baptisms, knitting baby items and supplying goods for emergency hospital packs for those who suddenly end up in hospital. Within our community ministries provided include:
- Coffee and Care at Worimi Children’s Court at Broadmeadow – where members regularly attend the court to dispense tea, coffee and biscuits to families waiting for their cases to be heard, and to be a listening ear to those who need it.
- Visiting maternity hospitals and giving new mothers a card and bootees or a baby cap as a gift from MU.
- Baby Bundles – we fill large bundles with baby clothes and other essential items needed for newborn babies. Around 80 of these bundles are distributed each year to disadvantaged new mothers through social workers in maternity hospitals from the Central Coast to Maitland.
- In times of natural disaster such as fire and flood funds are available for disaster relief if needed.
- In recent years Diocesan MU has developed a close relationship with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital and has provided many thousands of dollars to help the unit purchase expensive equipment needed for premature and sick babies.
- Overseas and Northern Outreach lunch to raise funds for MU work overseas and Northern Australia.
- Work to combat violence against women and families by supporting White Ribbon Day.
From the time of the first meeting of Mothers’ Union, in the home of its founder Mary Sumner 140 years ago, MU has had at its heart the needs for social justice.