Mothers’ Union has made history this week by electing its first ever Worldwide President from outside the British Isles. A record number of Mothers’ Union leaders from across the globe voted for Mrs Sheran Harper, who hails from Guyana, to represent and lead the 142-year-old movement’s four million members in 84 countries.
“I am delighted to accept the role of Worldwide President for the new triennium. I feel very excited and privileged and I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our members who voted to make this dream a reality,” says Mrs Harper, who will take up her new position in January 2019.
These elections were undertaken under the revised Constitution, approved by the Privy Council in April 2018, designed to ensure that the governance meets the latest standards required and that the Board truly reflects the global nature of the movement.
In addition, 11 Trustees have been elected from within 11 zones worldwide, five from the Provinces within Britain and Ireland and six from outside. The Board will also have the flexibility to appoint four trustees with specific skillsets to compliment the experience and expertise of the elected members.
“We are extremely excited with the results. Not only will Sheran bring her global expertise, but we have a Board that is rich in diversity with eight different nationalities and also for the first time includes a man,” says Mothers’ Union’s Chief Executive, Bev Jullien.
The current Worldwide President, Mrs Lynne Tembey, has overseen the constitutional changes together with the current Board, and she will continue in post until the end of December 2018. She says, “I thank God for his abundant blessings and his unfailing loving guidance. I pray that the Lord will continue to guide members and leaders everywhere and especially Sheran and the new Worldwide Board as they take up leadership of the Worldwide Mothers' Union for the coming three years.”
Mrs Harper is proud to be leading an organisation that is making a difference in the lives of over three-quarters of a million people worldwide. “Mothers’ Union is as relevant today as it was 142 years ago as the call to support families globally is now even greater. We are working alongside governments and other organisations in tackling issues which affect families wherever they are. In remote areas, where there is no access to social services, it is often Mothers’ Union that is leading the way,” she says.
In Britain and Ireland Mothers’ Union has announced the Provincial Presidents for 2019 to 2021:
Canterbury: Nikki Sweatman (continuing for one year)
Ireland: June Butler
Wales: Kay Warrington
York: June Houghton
Scotland: announcement to follow
About the new Worldwide President, Sheran Harper:
Sheran Harper was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in Guyana where she studied at the University of the West Indies School of Physical Therapy. She undertook her Clinical Practice at Guy’s Hospital in London and then worked with the Ministry of Health in Guyana where she opened and managed new physiotherapy departments in hospitals throughout the country and lectured on the Rehabilitation Therapists Programme. She stopped working in this area 17 years ago to focus on her calling of serving Mothers’ Union. She has served as a volunteer at all levels from Parish, Diocese and Province and is currently a Worldwide Trustee. Until recently, she was the Worldwide Parenting Trainer where she rolled out Mothers’ Union Parenting programmes in 23 countries across the globe. Her expertise is often called upon and she has been a spokesperson in her region for Mothers’ Union on various inter-faith, and international panels and forums.
Sheran has been married to Roger Harper for 31 years. They have two grown-up sons, Richard and Reginald and a daughter-in-law, Akilah.