About Us

about usOur three-tikanga Anglican Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is represented by the symbol of our woven flax cross which binds the three strands of our cultures together and gives us all strength. (for a full explanation of the woven cross design see the article in www.anglicanchurch.org written by Archbishop (now Sir) David Moxon)

Mothers’ Union members in New Zealand are similarly embracing our cultural differences by weaving the threads of the cross together and working them into the fabric of the worldwide Mothers’ Union, a family of 4 million members in 83 different countries.

Our Aim and Purpose

Is to demonstrate the Christian faith in action by the transformation of communities worldwide
through the nurture of the family in its many forms.

THE MOTHERS’ UNION
a.k.a. “The God-mothers”

(a name ascribed by the BBC for a programme screened about the Mothers’ Union in the UK some 20 years ago. We like it and were given permission by the trustees at Mary Sumner House to use it as an unofficial title.)

MU is not restricted to mothers or women only. Membership is open to all (of any age, gender or marital status) who have been baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity and declare their support for the Aim and Objectives of the Society. The division which occurred in NZ some 45 years ago, over the then-controversial issue of divorce, split our membership in two. The rules affecting MU worldwide were subsequently changed and, over the course of time, this issue has ceased to exist. However, we still have Mothers’ Union (which is now described as “Christian“ although historically part of the Anglican Church) and the alternative organisation in New Zealand – the Association of Anglican Women. We are basically complementary. Some Parishes have both groups, some have either/or, and some have neither.

We are a grass-roots Christian charity formed by Mary Sumner in England in 1876. NZ holds a special niche in the history of the movement. It is recorded as having the first Branch established outside of the UK, in the Parish of Holy Trinity Avonside, Christchurch, in 1886. Now spanning three centuries in age, MU continues to remain relevant to every-day life through an ability to adapt to changing attitudes on social and moral values, and the widely-varying laws of the countries in which it operates, yet remaining focussed on the core values set out in our Five Objectives, i.e. the practical support for families and the safe-keeping of all children.