Starting the Journey

Thursday 14th February 2019

This year to mark National Marriage Week we hear from Marriage Care about their work in the Diocese.

What potential is unleashed when we have the courage to take the first step?

Over 70 years ago a small group of people became aware that Catholic families in their community were struggling to nurture strong relationships after the trauma and upheaval of World War II. Their bold decision to step forward and offer relationship support, establishing a new charity called the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (CMAC), marked the beginning of a journey that we are privileged to be a part of today.

While the names and faces of our volunteers as well as the drivers of relationship stress have changed over the decades, the need for support is, arguably, greater than ever. Today, under the name of Marriage Care, we continue to build on the work of our predecessors. We are now the largest faith-based provider of marriage preparation and relationship counselling services in the UK, with 700 highly-trained practitioner and support volunteers operating from 52 centres across England and Wales.

Marriage Care Manchester Centre, predominantly serving the Salford Diocese, supports Relationship Counsellors working at venues in Bolton, Bury and the city centre. We have established Marriage Prep teams providing group courses and one-to-one support in Blackburn, Oldham, Sale and the city centre. Working closely with the clergy, we are privileged to accompany couples on this sacred journey into a deeper relationship and marriage. And to nurture the seeds of faith and love that sustains them along the way. At Marriage Care we believe that men and women from all walks of life catch a glimpse of something beautiful and hopeful, even divine in the possibilities of marriage and family life.

It is encouraging to know that Marriage Care impacts local communities and society, by helping couples build long lasting marriages and happy homes but there is so much more to do. In the Salford Diocese alone, we support 200 couples each year preparing for marriage but the need is much greater. In consultation with local parish priests, we hope to recruit more volunteers and extend our reach by establishing more parish-based teams.

Looking forward to the next 70 years of our Marriage Care journey, we acknowledge the importance of holding fast to our long-standing core values, having the Archbishop of Westminster as our President since 1946. Yet we are also intentional about embracing change as we consider the practicalities of how best to reach those people who most need our support today. If you would like to offer financial support or find out more about volunteering with Marriage Care, please visit our website at:; or call Deirdre Peden 07871 802336


Marriage Blessing

 May God the eternal Father keep you of one heart in love for one another,

so that the peace of Christ may dwell in you and abide always in your home.

May you be blessed in your children, find solace in your friends

and enjoy true peace with everyone.

May you be witnesses in the world to God’s charity,

 so that the afflicted and needy that have known your kindness,

 may one day receive you thankfully into the eternal dwelling of God.



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