The Mothers' Union branch in Hungerford was first conceived in January 1896. It was to be affiliated to the Oxford Diocesan Branch of the society. The Parish Magazine states that "the object of the Union is to awaken in mothers a sense of their great responsibility as mothers in the training of their boys and girls, and to organize in every place a band of mothers who will unite in prayer, and seek by their own example to lead their families in purity and holiness of life".
A preliminary meeting, of which full particulars will be given, will be held in the Corn Exchange, on Thursday 23rd, 1896, at 3pm, to which all the "mothers" of the parish are most earnestly invited."
The Mothers' Union was duly established in Hungerford.
The Parish Magazine of November 1898 includes the following:
"There will be a meeting of the Mothers' Union on Thursday November 24th, the particulars of which will be announced later on. We very heartily commend the good work of this society to the Mothers of the Parish. There seems to be a kind of impression that this society is only intended for the people of the poorer classes; this however is a great mistake. Those in more comfortable circumstances, the well-to-do and the wealthy, are equally interested, inasmuch as a mother's work and duty is the same all over the world, and in every rank of society. What is wanted is to awaken in mothers a sense of their great responsibility as mother's in the training of their children, both boys and girls, and to organise a band of mothers who will unite in prayer, and endeavour by their own examples to lead their families in purity and holiness of life.
The rules which the members are asked to observe are only such as devolve on every parent, yet perhaps on that very account are likely to be overlooked unless from time to time enforced by such reminders as this society gives. They are as follows:
1. Try by God's help to make your children obedient, truthful, and pure.
2. Never allow course jests, bad, angry words, or low talk in your house. Speak gently.
3. You are strongly advised never to give your children beer, wine, or spirits without the doctor's orders; or to send young people to the public house.
4. Do not allow your girls to go about the streets at night, and keep them from unsafe companions and dangerous amusements.
5. Be careful that your children do not read bad books or police reports.
6. Set them a good example in word and deed.
7. Kneel down to pray to God morning and evening, and teach your children to pray.
8. Try to read a few verses of the Bible daily, and come to Church as regularly as possible.
The 4th rule is one, the observance of which needs very strongly to be brought before our people, as it is quite shocking to see the way in which young girls are allowed by their parents to parade the streets and roads at night, without any proper companionship or supervision, and the evils resulting from such carelessness are, and must be, very great."