Mothers Union at the Feathers (MU)

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The Mothers Union

Lucy Willshaw

The Mothers' Union has never been to far away from me - my mum has been an active member for as long as i can remember. Indeed, as a teenager, due to the lack of a church hall or meeting room, the local MU branch used to meet regulary in our living room. My dad and I used to somewhat take the micky out of such meetings, and, as a reflection of the noise that was ususally made during the evening, used to joke about who was going to collect the eggs at the end of the meeting.

Reading some copies of 'Home and Family' (as the MU magazine used to be called) a few years ago i realised that there was actually a lot more to this organisation than the sterotypical image suggested.  The website ( says: "Mothers' Union is an international Christian membership charity that aims to demostrate the Christian faith in action through the transformation of communities worldwide.                  

We are working with people of all faiths and none in 83 countries to promote stable marriage, family life and the protection of children through praying, enabling and campaigning."

 ‚ÄčA new 'cluster' branch of the Mothers' union: Upper Ryedale, Helmsley, Ampleforth and Kirkdale, was set up just over 4 years ago.  We meet in a back room of the Feathers Hotel in Helmsley and call our selves Mothers Union @ The Feathers.  The regular core members of our group have a very varied experience of the Mothers' Union - from not having heard of it, to those like me , who have known about it for years.

We try to put as much variety into our monthly meetings as possible, ensuring a good mix of discussions, talks and activities that tackle social issues, faith and fun.   In the last few years amongst other things we have tried Salsa and Yoga, Explored Benedictine and Franciscan Spirituality, Taking social walks around the local area and found out about the Bye Bye Childhood campaign and Independant Domestic Abuse Services - IDAS.

As we have become more established as a group, all of us at Mothers' Union@the Feathers feel that the time has come to be a bit more visible in our communities, and start to make a difference to others.  We want to reflect what the MU is doing internationally and nationally, but also make a meaningful impact locally.  We want people to see us as a faith, dynamic, active organisation, open to all ages and all experience of life and faith. The MU is more than just a 'Christain Women's Institute' The name "Mothers'Union" often puts people off, but the MU website says: " Our members are not all mothers, or even all women. They are single, married,parents,grand-/over parents, or young adults just beginning to express their social conscience.  Mothers' Union provides, for all four million members, a network through which they can serve Christ in their own community - through prayer, financial support and actively working at the grassroot level in programmes that meet local needs".


We meet on the First Wednesday of the Month at 7.30pm in the Stable bar at the Feathers. 

Come and Join us

(Sometimes our planned programme does change, so do get in contact if you are planning to come)

Lucy Willshaw -  01439 770033