Norfolk Mothers Union runs marriage workshop
2010: Do you have engaged couples in your church who would benefit from a Loving for Life workshop? Mothers Union Norwich Diocese run the popular marriage workshops in Norfolk churches.
Alex and Chloe are looking forward to their wedding next May. The past few months have been a whirl of choosing dresses, flowers, photographers and visiting reception venues. They’ve met the vicar at the church where they’re going to be married and have put some thought into the service. The pressure is building. In the midst of the stress of preparing for a wedding, it’s all too easy to lose sight of why they’re getting married!
At the invitation of their vicar, Paul Seabrook, in Taverham, Alex and Chloe came along to a Loving for Life workshop, run by facilitators from Mothers’ Union Norwich Diocese. The workshop is aimed at helping couples to take a little time out to look at their relationship together.
One of the facilitators, Marguerite Phillips says: “Many couples today come to marriage to celebrate the stability of an existing relationship rather than to initiate them, so we see couples marrying later in life, often after living together for a period, and often after buying their home and starting a family."
"Working with local clergy, we deliver a programme which enables couples to consider some of the common issues within a marriage relationship and give them a variety of tools to use when negotiating any difficulties they may face”, added co-facilitator Barbara Partington.
Nine couples met one another over supper and conversation flowed. After coffee and chocolates they shared a variety of exercises, both as a couple and with the whole group, looking at issues such as differences, expectations, relationships with in-laws and more. There was much laughter and some interesting points were shared.
“We both thoroughly enjoyed the evening, especially the warm welcome and friendly atmosphere”,
said Will, due to marry Becci in April 2011.
“We found the course useful as an opportunity to meet with other couples and discuss wedding plans and progress towards the big day,” said Becci. “We were able to discuss subjects we had not necessarily thought about before in a supportive environment. It was good to be able to draw on the wisdom of our hosts’ past experiences; they were generous in sharing their own stories.”
“We would certainly recommend the course to other engaged couples,” added Will.
“I was encouraged by the way the couples responded to the topics raised and the thought and hard work that had been put into preparing the workshop was evident,” said the Reverend Paul Seabrook. “I try to spend time with each couple in the run-up to their wedding, but it’s great to be able to complement that with workshops that give them time to meet with other couples marrying in their church and to discuss common aspects of their relationships.
“Anything that the Christian community can do to help couples build strong foundations in their marriages has to be good news, and I’m particularly pleased to see Mothers’ Union working with clergy in this area of mission in Norwich diocese."
Would you like to book a Loving for Life couples’ workshop in your deanery or parish?
A workshop could be run over two evenings or one half day, perhaps at a weekend and ideally fairly soon after couples have booked their dates, as the closer the wedding is the less time they have available. A minimum of four couples is recommended to run a workshop successfully and you can have an input into the content. Not enough couples in your parish? Try a joint workshop with another parish or suggest one for all the smaller parishes in your deanery.
To book a couples’ Loving for Life course, please contact Barbara Bryant, Mothers’ Union Project Development Worker on 01603 882003 or email: email@example.com
Pictured above: Alex & Chloe and Will & Becci who recently attended a Loving for Life workshop (pictured right).
For people interested in becoming Loving for Life facilitators, a training course in running in Norwich on 3rd and 4th November. Click here for details.