A Thank You To Mums on Mothering Sunday From the Arcbhishop and Diocesan MU President
Mothers play their part in encouraging life and faith in children and young people.
Research undertaken by the Barna Group has highlighted that young people’s relationships with their mothers have a significant impact on their faith. According to this research, mothers influence how their children view Christianity.
Recently published research by Barna, ‘Finding Faith in Ireland – the shifting spiritual landscape of teens and young adults in the Republic of Ireland’, has found that parents, and in particular mothers, are especially influential in the faith of many young people. Forty–two percent of young people questioned in the research said their mothers made religion more appealing to them.
‘Finding Faith in Ireland’ highlights the importance of adults who care about young people’s spiritual development and the role they play in taking them from a nominal to a sincere faith, from an idea to a living relationship with God.
The research states that a young person who is fortunate to have a parent who often asks about their faith and makes it part of regular conversation is much more likely to have a private spiritual life. “Irish youth who say their mothers have had a positive influence on their faith are more likely than average to be practicing Christians (43%). Young people interviewed in this study often remember their parents making sure they went to church, talking about God, praying with them at night and telling them to go to youth group in their teenage years,” the report states.
So on Mothering Sunday we thank all the mothers who are nurturing their children’s faith for future generations. And we do so in the context of other good influences that children and young people experience in their lives as they ask questions and seek answers. The report highlights the importance of parental listening and conversation in this personal and spiritual development.
In Dublin & Glendalough we have been focusing on the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion which have been distilled to the Five Ts:
TELL: to proclaim God’s Kingdom
TEACH: to teach, baptise and nurture
TEND: to respond to human need
TRANSFORM: to transform unjust structures
TREASURE: to safeguard creation
All of these are things that are done instinctively by mothers for their children and passing on their faith and supporting young people’s faith development is an extension of this.
‘Finding Faith in Ireland’ was published by Barna in partnership with Christ in Youth last autumn. The research involved face to face interviews with young people and youth leaders as well as a randomised representative online survey of 750 young people. You can find out more about the research here: https://www.barna.com/research/faith-crisis-todays-irish-youth/
Mothers’ Union has a number of resources to support the sharing of faith in families. More information can be found at
Archbishop Michael Jackson, Dublin & Glendalough
Karen Nelson, President of Mothers’ Union in Dublin & Glendalough