"All I Have is Yours" - The Launch of Marriage Week UK 2013

12 February 2013
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Category: Marriage, News
12 February 2013, Comments: 0
The press launch of Marriage Week UK 2013 took place at the House of Commons last night (Feb 7th).  The event was attended by representatives of the Church of England, the Mothers Union, Catholic Marriage Care, Marriage Resource, Explore, Relationship Central and Care for the Family, among others.  Opened by the Rt Hon David Burrowes MP, the launch was hosted by Richard Kane. He spoke of the profound significance of a couple publicly declaring their love and commitment to one another but added that fear of failure among many unmarried couples was great. Concerns about  ‘Am I good enough to marry?’ or What if I fail?’ prevented many of them from taking that final step. He argued that it was incumbent upon those in positions of influence to help couples realise that marriage was not about a ‘gold standard’ or finding ‘the perfect mate’ but about going on a journey together with all its highs and lows, joys and sorrows.

Baroness Ruth Deech  DBE also spoke about fundamental significance of marriage for society.  She said that marriage was the strongest bond that could be made between two individuals and their families.  It was the safest environment in which to raise children and provided an indelible link to the past and to the future.  She argued that marriage should be placed high on the political agenda alongside big ticket items like, ‘health, peace and the environment’ because a stable family with two parents was indisputably the place where children thrived best.

Harry Benson, Communications Director at The Marriage Foundation, and author of ‘Let’s Stick Together,’ a relationship book for new parents, shared some of his research on divorce rates, just published in a report  ‘What is the Divorce Rate? Looking at the rate of divorce over the last four decades, Mr Benson found that the divorce rate for couples after they had been married for ten years or more was the same as it was in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.  Therefore a couple who married in 2001 had the same chance of getting divorced after ten or more years of marriage as a couple who married in 1971, a consistency which Mr Benson described as ‘remarkable’. His study also found that one in five newlyweds divorced after ten years of marriage, with the likelihood of a marriage ending in divorce further shrinking with each successive decade.

The final presentation was from Dave Percival, coordinator of Marriage Week 2014, ‘The Big Promise’.  A recent Marriage Week survey revealed that 82% of the couples asked were interested in or had already renewed their marriage vows. 38% of those that had renewed their vows said that they had wanted to say ‘yes’ to each other again and 35% said that they had wanted to make their vows together with their community or church. A world record for couples re-affirming their vows (1087) was set at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA, in 2009.  Through ‘The Big Promise’, on 8th Feb 2014, the organisers of Marriage Week are hoping  to set a new World Record as couples across the UK simultaneously re-affirm their marriage vows  at events across the country.

We would like to hear what you think about this idea and please do tell us about any events you have organised in your parish or diocese for this year’s Marriage Week which runs from 7th-14th February.

NB: Marriage Week UK was started in 1996 by Richard and Maria Kane and has since attracted the support and attention of a host of political, religious and media figures. Marriage Week seeks to highlight the benefits of healthy marriage to society, media and governments, whilst seeking to educate and inform couples regarding the benefits of an ever improving relationship, through largely church based events, and media coverage.

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