Registered Charity Number (Chelmsford Diocese Mothers' Union): 249736
Welcome to the Waltham Abbey branch of Mothers' Union in 2021.
Mothers’ Union (MU) is a Christian organisation supporting families worldwide for over 140 years. Founded by Mary Sumner in 1876, MU has grown into an international charity with over 4 million members in 84 countries. As a Christian membership charity, we demonstrate our faith in action. This happens as we work towards stopping poverty, inequality and injustice. Our members work at grassroots level around the world bringing hope and practical support to millions of people every year through parenting, literacy and community development programmes. Our Waltham Abbey branch has 22 members and can trace its history back to 1892 (learn more...).
We aim to:
- encourage parents in their role to develop the faith of their children;
- maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service;
- promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children;
- help those whose family life has met with adversity;
- promote and support married life.
Our theme this year is ‘Re-Building Hope and Confidence.’ This builds on the theme for 2020 which due to the Covid pandemic was curtailed. As we re-build our hope and confidence in God we will not only be inspired but also be equipped to build confidence in ourselves and in others within a local and a global context.
There are three types of membership open to all:
- As a branch member;
- As a Diocesan Member (someone who can't or doesn't want to be part of a branch);
- As a Friend (for those who have not been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity or who do not wish to be a full member).
A vital part of our prayer links is the Indoor Members' Prayer Circle consisting of branch members who cannot attend meetings.
Projects and Fundraising
Locally, we support the work with children in our parish by giving age related bibles to children who are baptized. Since the branch began donating bibles, we have donated over £3,000 to cover the cost and are very grateful for the donations which we receive every month. We always look forward to welcoming baptism families back to the church when possible.
In the Diocese, our projects are:
- English for Women (EfW)
- Mothers’ Union (MU) has taken over this project which began in November 2015 when volunteers at Chelmsford Cathedral started an Afghan language group. This has developed into an international drop-in centre where women from over 40 nationalities have been welcomed, speaking 24 different languages. As a language drop in centre rather than a structured English class, conversational teaching in small groups is offered so the learners can work on their speaking skills and grow in confidence, improve their writing and sometimes even start writing for the first time in their lives.
- Part of integration is being able to make sense of the culture we live in and not about expecting everybody to become the same. The group gives the women the opportunity to join in and understand what we do here in the UK and why. Discussions may be about popular TV programmes, bank holidays, typical English customs, values and basic rights.
- The volunteers are as important as the women who attend and the centre is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in term time. This is a safe and friendly space is provided, where women can improve their English and find a warm welcome. Their children have an interactive play environment and can develop their language skills in preparation for school.
- In addition to the Chelmsford centre, there are centres in Harwich and Goodmayes. Another group called ‘English for Anyone’ is also available. Details can be obtained from the Diocesan Office in Chelmsford.
- AFIA (away from it all)
- AFIA provides days out and holidays for single people or families under stress.
Our Link dioceses in the world are Jamaica & Cayman Islands in the West Indies, Rejav in the Sudan, Doko and Owo in Nigeria and the Military Episcopate in Kenya.
Through donations and fundraising, our members support our diocesan projects and central MU projects in Britain and Northern Ireland. We are able to help abroad, by helping communities find the resources needed to build their own toilets and improve sanitation, teaching parents and grandparents how to care for their families and enabling women to set up their own business so they can support their families. We also support our central funds to enable the MU to provide the required workers when a disaster occurs in an overseas diocese where we already have a presence. Learn more...
We meet every other month at 7.30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month in the Abbey Church or the Parish Centre and have a full programme of events with speakers, outings, fundraising events and services. Learn more...
If you wish to know more about our work, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.