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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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Marriage Care seeks volunteers from the Diocese of Shrewsbury to help to prepare more couples for Sacrament of Marriage


“Pre-marriage courses are a special expression of preparation. And we see so many couples, who perhaps come to the course somewhat reluctant. But afterwards they are happy and grateful, because they have found there the opportunity – sometimes the only one – to reflect on their experience in non-trivial terms.”

Pope Francis, Catechesis on Engagement, May 27th 2015


An appeal from Marriage Care:

This year Marriage Care is marking Pentecost Sunday (June 4) and Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7) with a particularly important appeal for more volunteers to help us expand our services to couples.  Last year the bishops published their Guidelines for the Preparation of Couples for Marriage to encourage parishes to support couples in their life-long journey of marriage, starting with marriage preparation.  Their recommendations followed swiftly on from Pope Francis’ reflection on marriage preparation in The Joy of Love in which he too calls for much more attention and effort to be dedicated to accompanying couples before and after their wedding.

At Marriage Care our goal is to radically increase the amount of marriage preparation courses we deliver whilst continuing to maintain our support for couples experiencing difficulties through our relationship counselling service. At present over 3000 couples a year experience either a Preparing Together day or a series of FOCCUS© sessions, around a third of all those marrying in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. We want to double these figures by the end of 2019. Our interactive courses give couples an opportunity to take time to think about the great commitment they are entering into, as well as to learn the tools they will need to draw on in the future. The content of Preparing Together in particular draws on all we have learned from our experience of counselling couples in distress over the last 70 years.

Could you help us to do more for marriage, to reach more couples who are preparing for the sacrament? We are looking for Catholic volunteers who can commit to a three-day training course and thereafter to three days (usually Saturdays) a year delivering the Preparing Together day as part of a team.  For every six new volunteers we can potentially reach an additional 100 couples a year. We are also in need of Head of Centres for our Stockport centre and Warrington centre, to lead and support the local teams there.

Here in the Diocese of Shrewsbury our Marriage Care centres are based in Stockport, Trafford, Warrington and South & Mid-Cheshire. One of our marriage preparation facilitators from the Stockport centre – Jean- shares her thoughts on why she volunteers: ‘’I find volunteering with Marriage Care a richly rewarding experience, with many facets. There is high quality training and on-going support for all members of the organisation, both at local and national level. I enjoy working as part of an enthusiastic, highly committed team from all sorts of backgrounds. Most of all, it is a unique experience to meet with couples at such an exciting and positive time in their lives. The days are hard work and fun! Personally, it is a privilege to share in this work. For ten years it has been, and remains, an ideal opportunity for personal development and confidence.


To learn more about Marriage Care visit To book a place on a marriage preparation course or for counselling call 0800 389 3801. For further information or to apply for any volunteer vacancies please contact your local Centre or