Our Diocese - Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union

Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union
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Our Diocese

The Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

The United Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory consists of the following Dioceses and Unions/Groups:

  • Diocese of Cashel ~ Cashel Union, Kilcooley & Fertagh Union and Templemore Union of Parishes

  • Diocese of Waterford ~ Waterford Union

  • Diocese of Lismore ~ Fiddown Union, Clonmel Union and Lismore Union

  • Diocese of Ossory ~ Castlecomer Union, Clonenagh Group, Kells Union with Inistioge, Kilkenny Union and Rathdowney Union

  • Diocese of Leighlin ~ Abbeyleix & Killmernogh Union, Baltinglass Group, Carlow Union, Killeshin Union, Dunleckney Union, Fenagh/Myshall/Aghade/Ardoyne Union, Kiltegan Group, Leighlin Union, Portlaoise & Ballyfin Union, Stradbally Union and Tullow Group

  • Ferns Diocese ~ Ardamine/Kilnamanagh/Monamolin Group, Bunclody Union, Enniscorthy & Monart Union, Ferns Union, Gorey Group, Killanne/Killegney Union, New Ross/Fethard Union, Tinahely/Carnew Union and Wexford/Kilscoran Union

Mothers' Union Branches in the Diocese

Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

  • CASHEL ~ Vice President - Vacant
      • Branches ~ Cashel, Lismore, Kilcooley/Fertagh and Templemore

  • OSSORY ~ Vice President - Linda Ward
      • Branches ~ Castlecomer, Kilkenny, Mountrath and Rathdowney

  • LEIGHLIN ~ Vice President -Patricia Coleman
      • Branches ~ Abbeyleix, Ballyfin, Bagnelstown, Carlow, Kiltegan, Old Leighlin and Tullow

  • FERNS ~ Vice President - Lesley Bayley
      • Branches ~ Ardamine/Kilnamanagh, Ballycanew/Leskinfere/Monamolin, Bunclody, Enniscorthy, Ferns, Gorey, Killanne/Killegney, New Ross/Fethard-on-Sea and Wexford

You may become a Member of Mothers' Union by joining one of the Branches listed above or by becoming a Diocesan Member. All contact details are available from the Diocesan Secretary, Margaret Jacob

New Trustees who were commissioned at the Festival Service
St. Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny ~ May 2017
Christ Church, Gorey ~ May 2018

Cashel, Ferns, Ossory ~ Mothers' Union

Officers for 2017-2020
  •            Diocesan President ~ Revd. Margaret Sykes
  •            Secretary ~  Margaret Jacob
  •            Diocesan Treasurer ~ Elizabeth Johnston
  •            Vice President Ossory ~ Linda Ward
  •            Vice President Cashel ~ Vacant
  •            Vice President Leighlin ~ Patricia Coleman
  •            Vice President Ferns ~ Lesley Bayley
  •            Unit Co-ordinators:
          • Faith & Policy ~ Rev. Canon Barbara Fryday
          • Action & Outreach ~ Vacant
          • Fundraising & Communications ~ Margaret Jacob
          • Finance & Central Services ~ Joan Blake
  •            Social Policy Rep. ~ Vacant
  •            Overseas Rep. ~ Pearl Olsen
  •            Media Representative ~ Mary Catherine Compton
  •            Indoor Members Represenatives:
          • Ossory ~ Linda Condell
          • Leighlin & Ferns ~ Cecily Jones
  •            Training Officer ~ Joan Blake
  •            Young Families ~ Claudia Kidd
  •            P.R.O. ~ Vivien Black
  •            Secretary to Trustees ~ Violet Deacon
  •           Website & COMUN ~ Margaret Jacob
  •           MU Enterprise Stall ~ Phyllis Foot
  •            Chaplain ~ Revd. Canon Mark Hayden
A Brief History of The Mothers' Union

The Mothers Union was formed in 1876 by Mary Sumner whose husband was Rector in Winchester at the time, and later became a Bishop. The organisation spread quickly, as many of the ladies involved, were army officers wives and when they went abroad started branches.

The first Mothers Union Branch in Ireland was formed in Raheny in 1887, by the Rector's wife Mrs Annabella Hayes in affiliation with Winchester Diocese.  In 1901 the Bishop and Mrs Sumner visited Ireland.

The oldest Branch in The United Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory is Wexford Branch where early records state that a Branch was formed in 1892 with a membership of five. This was prior to setting up a Diocesan organisation in 1904, so the Branch was affiliated to Dublin. The next two Branches which were formed in the United Diocese were Lismore in 1894 and Kilkenny in 1895.

A new Diocesan Banner was designed and made by Frances Bradley when the United Diocese was named Cashel, Ferns, Ossory. The Banner was dedicated at the Festival Service in Enniscorthy in May 2015.

The latest Branch was formed only this year, 2017, and it is in Old Leighlin.
Frances Bradley & Margaret Sykes
with the New Diocesan Banner

The beautiful banner was created by Frances
General Synod 2018

The General Synod of the Church of Ireland took place in Armagh from 10th - 12th May. There was a large number of Mothers' Union members representing the Diocese at Synod. At the General Meeting in Edinburgh last autumn there was a very poignant display of shoes with captions telling the story of each pair. This was replocated at Synod by Mothers' Union and pictures of the displays can be seen in the slideshow to your left.

The Right Revd. Michael Burrows book "Route 66 - Empowering women through Literacy "~ Short reflections from each book of the Bible was launched at Synod by The Very Revd. Maria Jansson, Dean of Waterford Cathedral.

COMUN, our Diocesan Magazine, won first prize in the Media Awards for a publication by an Affiliated Organisation.


The 2018 Festival Service took place in Christ Church Gorey on Wednesday 16th May. The Service and refreshments afterwards were very kindly hosted by Gorey / Hollyfort Mothers' Union. The special preacher at the Service was the Very Revd. Tom Gordon, Dean of St. Laserian's Cathedral.

We were delighted to have the  Right Revd. Bishop Michael Burrows, All Ireland President - Phyllis Grothier, Diocesan Press Officer - Margaret Hawkins and our Diocesan President, Revd. Margaret Sykes  present at the service.

The following were also commissioned at the service:
Canon Mark Hayden ~ Mothers' Union Chaplain
Patricia Coleman ~ Vice President Leighlin Area
Claudia Kidd ~ Young Families Representative

Following the service Phyllis presided over the Diocesan launch of "ROUTE 66 ~ Empowering women through literacy" ( Short reflections from each book of the Bible) by Michael Burrows.

Thank you to everyone who put so much though and effort into the service, to Henry Percival for playing the organ, the Fun/Fellowship Choir who led the singing and a particular word of thanks to all who provided the refreshments after the service.


Above is a slideshow of pictures from the Festival Service
in Christ Church Gorey ~ 16th May 2018

Subscriptions 2019

The Subscriptions for 2019 are due in the new year. Branch Treasurers should forward the money to the Diocesan Treasurer in January.
The breakdown of your subscription, the total of which is € 35, is as follows:
  • €23.00 for General Fund
  • €7.70 for Diocese
  • €1.30 for Diocesan Project
  • € 3.00 for COMUN    
NB. :Insurance for  Branch Activities is covered under your subscription
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