Marriage is a vocation, in as much as it is a response to a specific call to experience conjugal love as an imperfect sign of the love between Christ and the Church. Consequently, the decision to marry and to have a family ought to be the fruit of a process of vocational discernment.

Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 72

Marriage and family life has a special focus in the Church and there are many ways that the Church seeks to recognise, celebrate and support the varied family dynamics of the world today from the nuclear to the wider, extended family unit.

The Sacrament of marriage is a true gift from God. We are called by God to marriage and God blesses the relationship. Marriages take place in front of family and friends and the Church Community to not only declare the love between the couple to the world but also to request the community offer their ongoing support.

Sacrament of Marriage

Marriage is a vocation – a calling from God to commit to love and to cherish one another. It is a Sacrament, a permanent sign of love that exclusively is ordered towards the good of the couple. It is a place where family can grow and children can be educated. It is a sign of God’s love lived through the love of the couple. Here are some ways that the Diocese offers support to those preparing for marriage and those already married.

Marriage Preparation

Marriage preparation is key to ensuring that marriages begin healthily and remain not only functional but life-giving. Such preparation offers the space for couples to reflect on the commitment involved. It is intended to be an affirming experience, where couples develop a deeper understanding of one another and discern their readiness to enter married life. If you are recently engaged and/or are seriously considering being married in the Church you can find out more about marriage preparation by getting in touch with your local parish priest or contacting Deacon Rob Wareing who is our diocesan lead for Marriage and Family Life.

Tel: 07841 530991

Marriage Preparation through Marriage Care (

There are four options for marriage preparation either face-to-face or online; each option provides the structure, content, venues and cost and links to how to search and book a course. A Certificate of Attendance, which will be required by your home parish, is awarded at the end of each of the options. A helpful note on ‘Guidance for couples marrying within the Catholic Church’ can be found on the same Marriage Preparation page.

Click here for a direct link: Getting married | Marriage preparation | Marriage Care.

Further Resources

Your parish may have a copy of the Guidelines for the Preparation of Couples for Marriage produced by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales which will provide useful information if you are considering getting married in the Catholic Church. To view a copy speak to your parish priest or contact Deacon Rob Wareing by email:

Celebrating Marriage

Whether you’ve been married one year, 25 years, 50 years, or have another significant anniversary coming up, or, perhaps, you have recently come through a particularly difficult time as a couple, your marriage is something to celebrate. Each year there is a Diocesan Mass for those who wish to celebrate an important milestone in their marriage. You can even apply for a certificate to mark the occasion. Look out for advertising and booking information for this event.

Difficult Times in Marriage

At times all marriages will experience difficulties, over a lifetime there will be many ups and downs. It is acknowledged that difficulties in marriage can occur that affect not only the couple, or individuals within a couple, but also children within that marriage. The Church recognises that in some circumstances people need more formal support to live out their vows. In Hexham and Newcastle Diocese the Church is in partnership with the organisation ‘Marriage Care’. The Marriage Care website provides useful links for couples, individuals and children where support can be found in times of marital problems or situations affecting children emotionally or physically. Visit the website directly here Relationship counselling | Couples counselling | Marriage guidance ( Or contact Deacon Rob Wareing for further information.

Tel: 07841 530991.

Married life is a process of growth, in which each spouse is God’s means of helping the other to mature… Fostering growth means helping a person to shape his or her own identity. Love is thus a kind of craftsmanship… At every new stage, they can keep ‘forming’ one another. Love makes each wait for the other with the patience of a craftsman, a patience which comes from God.

Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 221

National Marriage Week

The Church celebrates ‘National Marriage Week’, on an annual basis, in February. Each year there is a different theme linked to marriage. The CBCEW has a webpage dedicated to Marriage Week which contains further information, prayers and resources linked to the theme of each year.