Mothers’ Union is an international Christian organization that seeks to support families worldwide. The Union is specifically concerned with all that strengthens, preserves marriage and supports Christian family life especially in times of adversity. The Mothers’ Union expresses its Christian identity through its life of prayer and worship. It is this spiritual life together which underpins its work with families and communities. Every day a wave of prayer goes around the world as members stop and pray in the middle of the day to pray for the work of Mothers’ Union and international issues.
The organization was founded by Mary Sumner in 1876 in the Church of England. She recalled her difficulties in child-care and training coupled with house chores and work place, and realized that mothers have enormous responsibilities. She was inspired to bring mothers of all social-classes together to provide support and training in motherhood so that they would be equipped to face the responsibilities in their marriage and family life. She taught young wives how to make good Christian home and bring up their children in the fear of God.
In 1885 Mary Sumner addressed the women in a conference. She passionately explained the power God has bestowed on women to change the family, society and the nation at large for better. A good number of the women present in the conference were encouraged and their lives were touched as they were exposed to the word of God. They returned to their various parishes to set up similar women’s meetings. These meetings grew into MOTHERS’ UNION and it was declared a Diocesan Organization by the Bishop of Winchester. The movement grew beyond the Diocese of Winchester and rapidly spread to other Dioceses and Provinces of Anglican Communion. Mothers’ Union membership flourished and women were empowered to make disciples of all ages. They encouraged entire family, and supported people to grow in faith so that they were excited to boldly witness the Gospel of Christ to others.
As a global movement of women, Mothers’ Union supports churches with prayers and funds. It promotes the activities of its branch members and local communities through social outreach projects. It provides its members with child training, parenting and skills that will enable them to be self-reliant. Mothers’ Union campaigns against violence against women as well as child trafficking. It is the highest women organization in Anglican Communion that addresses social ills. It is also the voice of women in Anglican Communion in the church, diocese, provincial and international levels.
Mothers’ Union is particularly concerned with all that strengthens and preserves marriage and Christian family life. It helps in the advancement of Christian religion in the sphere of marriage and family-life. This is done by:
Developing prayer and spiritual growth in families.
Studying and reflecting on family life and its place in the society.
Resourcing her members to take practical actions to improve conditions for families.
Demonstrating the Christian faith in action by the transformation of communities worldwide through the nurture of the family in its various form.
The Women’s Guild is an important Women’s Organization in Anglican Communion. Women are first admitted into Women’s Guild before going into Mothers’ Union. It was founded with more open membership. Women who are full church members but not eligible to join Mothers’ Union are free to be members of Women’s Guild and serve God with commitment in the Church. In Nigeria, Women’s Guild was founded by Mrs. Malina Jones in 1921.
The Women’s Guild is specially concerned with all that strengthens and preserves family life. Women strive to learn very well the best way to live a wholesome life and draw people to our Lord Jesus Christ through good conduct, selfless service at home, church and society by pledging to:
To read the Bible and pray daily.
To keep the marriage vows and bring up all children entrusted to us with loving care and teach them to pray daily.
To avoid debts and abstain from strong drinks, except with strict moderation.
To attend regularly Church Services, Bible class and Guild meetings.
Try to win others for Christ through a life of service for his sake.
To visit the sick and the bereaved.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MOTHERS’ UNION AND WOMEN’S GUILD
These two women organizations in Anglican Communion namely Mothers’ Union and Women’s Guild, produce women of virtue and integrity who are good Christian Mothers. They build their homes with God’s wisdom and raise godly children. They also bring positive changes in their families, communities, society and the world at large.
Mothers’ Union is the highest women organization and members are expected to be a model of Christian Mothers at home, Church, community, and society at large. Members are baptized, confirmed and wedded in the church. They must know the word of God, and Anglicanism and be helpful in training others. Mothers’ Union supports monogamous marriage and family life so aspirants must be wedded in the church and be faithful to their marriage vows.
Women’s Guild has more open membership to give all women equal opportunity to love and serve the Lord in spirit and in truth. Unmarried women, or single and unwedded mothers who are zealous for God are admitted in Women’s Guild.
Women are first admitted into Women’s Guild before being admitted into Mothers’Union. In other words, all Mothers’ Union members are also members of Women’s Guild.
Both Women Organizations have different uniforms. Mothers’ Union has blue back-ground uniform while Women’s Guild has green back-ground uniform.