Mothers' Union

The Mothers’ Union is a worldwide society whose vision is of a world where God's love is shown through loving, respectful, and flourishing relationships. We seek to demonstrate the Christian faith in action by the transformation of communities worldwide through the nurture of the family in its many forms.

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The Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Manchester

Approximately 3000 women and men are members of Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Manchester. Membership may be in a parish branch, in a deanery or in the diocese. All are served by our diocesan secretary who is based in Church House at 90 Deansgate, Manchester.

Also in Church House is the shop, situated on fifth floor. Visitors are assured of a warm welcome, the offer of tea or coffee, a place to rest. A wide selection of MU goods is available to browse and buy, and there is a good stock leaflets, posters and ideas to promote the work of the MU.


The bedrock of all Mothers’ Union action is the faith of its members. All activity is supported by prayer, and members have been called a ‘powerhouse of prayer.’

Fellowship is strengthened through worship together in branches, deaneries, archdeaconries and in the diocese, and Manchester is always well represented at provincial and national events.

Quiet days are organised twice a year and there is a monthly “Thursday Prayer” in the cathedral – providing an opportunity to spend half an hour in quiet reflection and worship.

Examples of our outreach 

Freshers’ Week

In 2007 the Manchester Mothers' Union piloted a scheme to welcome new students to the city. We gave out “goody bags” during Freshers’ Week to 1700 students. They contained basics such as rice, pasta, tea, coffee, soup, toilet rolls, and toothpaste.

The project was a huge success and has been repeated every year since. Manchester has the largest student population of any city in the UK and welcomes 10,000 new students annually.





Virtual babies

Another extremely successful project that is relatively new in the diocese. Holly, our first baby, proved a huge asset in the first school to use her. She was then joined by a brother and moved into another of our high schools.

Every school which has used the babies so far has found ways of purchasing their own babies after the pilot scheme. Several schools are now using this resource thanks to Mothers’ Union. 

Virtual babies do not by themselves reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancies. However, feedback from students indicates that these young people will make more considered choices in the future.

Away from it all

Over many years countless families have benefited from this scheme which enables members, clergy, friends and agencies to refer people who would otherwise be unable to enjoy a break away from the stresses of everyday life.

  • Parents with a young family enjoying a holiday in a caravan at the seaside; 
  • a single person, struggling to care for an elderly relative, finding refreshment on a retreat;
  • Grandparents caring for the children on the death of their parent, relaxing for a weekend in a hotel;
  • A single parent with teenagers finding a group holiday meeting the needs of each. 

Whatever the situation Mothers’ Union will try to find an appropriate holiday or maybe just a day ‘Away from it all’.


We have members trained as parenting facilitators and hope to develop this area of work significantly in the near future.

Wedding Fairs

Mothers’ Union has supported the diocese at the wedding fairs held in Manchester Central and plan to develop this enabling members in each deanery to be involved in fairs in the local area.

Deanery and branch projects

Mothers’ Union members in branches and deaneries across the Diocese of Manchester are involved in numerous local projects – far too many to list!

Most men and women living in homeless hostels receive gifts and cards at Christmas. Some moving into their own accommodation receive “starter packs” with basic kitchen equipment, cleaning materials etc. One deanery works with the Probation Service to support those moving on from hostels.

Members work closely with many hospitals – meeting very specific needs. Knitted bonnets for Special Care Baby Units, quilts, tiny gowns for premature babies are just some examples of items knitted and sewn with love. We also supply hospitality bags, for people rushed into hospital without warning.

In many parishes members support the clergy in their work with families – running groups for babies and their carers; organising “pram” services; assisting with baptism and marriage preparation.

To find out more

For more information about the work of the MU or to enquire about becoming a member, contact Mrs Judith Hilton, Diocesan Mothers’ Union Secretary: at the Mothers' Union Office, Fourth Floor, 90 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2GH or phone her on 0161 828 1427. E-mail: Visit our website at

The Mothers’ Union Shop is situated on Third Floor at Church House (Tel/Fax: 0161 834 5399. E-mail: The shop is open Tuesday-Thursday (10am-2pm). A comprehensive selection of Mothers’ Union publications and other literature is available for sale.