The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby paid tribute to the Anglican mission agency Mothers’ Union (MU) on Sunday, describing them as “the heart and love of the Church”. Speaking at the inauguration of the new Anglican Province of Sudan in Khartoum on Sunday, the Archbishop said he recognised “the importance of Mothers’ Union in Sudan. . . May God bless you.”
He told them that “Provinces of Mothers’ Union around the world are praying for you today and always.”
The first Archbishop of the new province, Ezekiel Kondo, also thanked the MU for their support and for “always being there.”
During the service, the elected leader of MU in Khartoum, Mama Samira, led prayers for peace.
She was elected leader after becoming literate and numerate, gaining skills and confidence, through a Mothers’ Union’s literacy and financial education programme.
In a message to the new Archbishop, the worldwide president of the MU, Lynne Tembey, said: “May all who lead the Church in the newly formed Province of Sudan, guide and direct those within their care with love and compassion seeking God’s guidance in all things. I pray too for all people in Sudan. May the light of Christ continue to be your light, your guide and pathway.”
Ahead of Sunday’s historic service, members of MU from dioceses across Sudan took part in a week-long workshop mapping out their priorities for the future. Organised by the Sudan MU leadership with support of the UK MU development team, the week identified education, growing and developing good leaders within the MU and building capacity of individuals, especially women, as their priorities.
“We have met with Mothers’ Union leaders from across Sudan listening to their joys, challenges and the hopes and dreams they have for the future,” said Nicola Lawrence, MU’s head of development and policy. “Every day I have been humbled and inspired by the passion and commitment of the members who selflessly and sacrificially serve others in the community from visiting those who are sick in hospital or in their homes, supporting those in prison, to building the capacity of women through literacy, skills training and savings groups.”
She added: “Please pray for Mothers’ Union Sudan as they move forward together as a new province working together to be salt and light within their communities.”