The Mothers' Union was started in England in 1876 by Mary Sumner, an Anglican clergyman's wife. She wished mothers to fulfil their responsibility for the material and spiritual well-being of their children. With growth throughout the British Empire this century, the Mothers' Union has become the largest voluntary world-wide women's organization with over 1 million members, committed to supporting the family, with the Mothers' Union playing an important role in the religious life and social policies of many countries.
By 1892 Mothers' Union had reached Australia, the first branch being formed by Ismay L'Oste, the wife of the Rector of Cullenswood in Tasmania. In 1925 a central headquarters was established in London - in Tufton Street, Westminster - and known as The Mary Sumner House. This building has remained the focal point of this worldwide organization.
In 1934, the Mothers' Union was formed at St. Augustine's by the wife of the priest at the time Rev. C.R. Whereat, and their banner, depicting the Sistine Madonna in silk and embroidery with painted highlights, was worked by an English artist, Miss M. Bristowe Hughes, who had visited the church that year.
The Mothers' Union at St. Augustine's meet every 4th Tuesday in the month and start with the Mother’s Union service after which they have a short meeting and afternoon tea; occasionally they may have a guest speaker. During the year they may travel to different places and take part in the mid-year deanery festival which is held around June, other parishes may hold special functions to which the Mothers' Union are invited.
Our branches are responsible for following up on young families whose baby or child has been baptized, or confirmed. At every baptism the Mother’s Union present the parents with a package consisting of the baptism certificate, booklets for the sponsors, prayer cards etc. A small gift is presented to the child and the mother is given a small spray of flowers. They are welcomed into our family. A card is sent to each child on the anniversary of their baptism. (The Mothers' Union is not connected to the church in any fund-raising capacity).
Every year the Mothers' Union organizes through Family Aid to Missions for parishioners to help in donating much needed items to send overseas mainly to Africa. They desperately need items such as bandages, linen, blankets, clothing, even small items such as pencils, scissors, Band-Aids etc. A big crate is sent once or twice a year and can take a very long time to reach its destination, but once there the people are thrilled with the goods. People help in many, many ways, hospitals even donate beds and machines that are no longer used, donations of money are given. Our ladies get together and knit squares to make blankets, tear up old sheets to make bandages and many other things are made up to send.
THE PURPOSE of The Mothers' Union is to be especially concerned with all that strengthens and preserves marriage and Christian family life.
Its AIM is the advancement of the Christian religion in the sphere of marriage and family life.
Its FIVE OBJECTS are:
1. To uphold Christ's teaching on the nature of marriage and to promote its wider understanding.
2. To encourage parents to bring up their children in the faith and life of the Church.
3. To maintain a World Wide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service.
4. To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children.
5. To help those whose family life has met with adversity.