What we do
We support our communities
With goods, services, and personal time for local Plunket Branches, kindergartens and hospitals, incorporating specific programmes which we can tailor to meet their individual needs.
In Auckland we are experienced in mentoring young mothers needing help to build confidence and self-esteem, and have given regular instruction courses on cooking and sewing at the Anglican Trust for Women and Children (endorsed by the visit of a previous Worldwide President) We have filled in as individual godmothers to the girls when requested. (Objectives 4 and 5). Other Dioceses run Mothers’ Union Parenting programmes, and a variety of similar projects, according to local needs.
We raise awareness of social problems
Through representation in our local Synods, affiliation to the National Council of Women of NZ gaining strength through working with other like-minded organisations. By lobbying the NZ Government either through NCW or directly though our Social Concerns departments, and with tabs on issues concerning the United Nations through representation there by members of the Worldwide Mothers’ Union.
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
All our work is underpinned by the Christian faith of members in Parish-based Branches, or as individual Archdeaconry or Provincial members.
We look after children by welcoming families in baptism services at church, running parent education programmes, covering music and pre-school programmes leading into Church membership and helping in Sunday Schools.
We look after senior people by visiting and taking an interest in and praying for those who are too frail to retain an active life, or helping with, and providing transport to, Selwyn Centre Parish programmes.
We look after ourselves, by meeting regularly (usually monthly). The vicar often takes a short service of MU Praise and Worship, which will include the eucharist (open to all-comers).
And we even have fun with entertainment, speakers, and practical activities, Diocesan and Archdeaconry get-togethers, and social outings. Life-long friendships are also formed through overseas prayer links, and international correspondence between Branches is maintained over many years.
The Mary Sumner Lecture to commemorate our founder, given by an influential public personality, is held biennially, alternating with the overseas and local Missions Day.
In the international context—
We support the Worldwide Mothers’ Union With levies paid by members for the work of our Head Office at Mary Sumner House in London which conducts missions programmes all around the world. We pray for one another every day in a continuous Wave of Prayer, in which Dioceses throughout the world with a Mothers’ Union presence are linked together.
We subscribe to “Families First” and “Families Worldwide” international magazines which publish the Prayer Diary and inspire us with the news of activity programmes, projects and initiatives.
New Zealand is held in high regard by the international Mothers’ Union and, although our membership is small in the global context, we have been visited by every single Worldwide President who has taken office. We also participate in regular Provincial Presidents’ conferences overseas, and receive hospitality from our prayer and correspondence links.
In New Zealand our Parish Branches hold regular meetings, usually monthly, and each Branch is involved in prayer and action, supporting Parish-based, Diocesan, and Provincial projects, as well as the Worldwide Action and Outreach programme run from Mary Sumner House.
Our “God-mothers” Programme which we were invited to bring to the Anglican Trust for Women and Children, was set up to teach home-skills to the mothers on a residential programme with their children. This has been widely acclaimed around the world by a former Worldwide President after her visit here. Adaptations of this programme are being used by different Branches, and training for Parenting Programme Facilitators, as in Australia and other countries, is now under way in Wellington.
Our “Golden Needles” have been busy for many years, sewing and knitting for needy families, garments, rugs, etc. distributed by the Plunket Society nurses, hospitals and other agencies.
Many Branches host pre-school music groups, including “Mainly Music”. Children love the music and care-givers love the morning teas. We also offer transport and hospitality to those at the other end of the age-scale, by linking in with the Selwyn Centres operating in some Parishes.
At-Home, Diocesan or Provincial members can be just as involved with their prayer support that is at the heart of our existence.