We are inviting contributions from various voices working within the diocese to share their pastoral and practical insights during the COVID19 pandemic.
Marriage Care was founded in this diocese in 1946 and has been serving parish communities across England and Wales for nearly 75 years.
Now is a moment of significant strain on the health and well-being of couples and families, where the skills of a group such as Marriage Care are much needed.
Our thanks to Mark Molden, Chief Executive of Marriage Care for the following.
'We're still here': Marriage Care’s vital support continues during the coronavirus pandemic
Relationships are hard to do at the best of times, but right now, as the Coronavirus is leading to massive changes in the way we live our lives, healthy marriages and relationships are going to be hugely important for getting us through self-isolation, social distancing and the income security pressures that so many of us will be facing
So that we can continue to offer support to individuals and couples, from now and until the current emergency is over, all our counselling and marriage preparation sessions will be online using secure webcam and video conferencing technology – just like having face-to-face support, except you talk to a trained counsellor or marriage preparation facilitator online using a secure video link (similar to Skype or FaceTime).
Research shows us that conflict between parents can have a very negative effect on children’s development in terms of mental and physical health. With families forced to isolate and children no longer able to go to school, problems are potentially going to quickly escalate with no immediate prospect of relief. We urge people to seek expert help before they reach breaking point. Marriage Care offers a donation-only counselling service so that anyone can access support whatever their financial circumstances.
We know that many engaged couples are coping with the heartbreak of deferred wedding plans and that will have undoubtedly put a strain on some relationships. Our counselling service can offer a skilled listening ear to help couples work through that disappointment together. And whilst some may have deferred wedding plans, preparation for married life can start now and need not be put on hold. We would encourage couples to use this time to book into one of our marriage preparation sessions – not simply to fulfill the pre-marriage requirements of the Church but to take the time to build a deeper understanding of their unique relationship and be equipped with new communication tools that will help their love to grow and navigate the ordinary and sometimes extraordinary issues that life throws our way.