Reverend Roger Carr-Jones, the Marriage and Family Life Coordinator for the Diocese of Westminster, has been appointed by our Patron, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, as the President’s nominee to the Board of Marriage Care. Roger takes up his role in October in succession to Fr Mehall Lowry, who has been such a supportive and guiding presence for Marriage Care over the last five years.
Roger is married to Jackie, and they have five children, three grandchildren and two dogs, which makes for a busy life. Roger was ordained as Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of Portsmouth in 2008, serves as a Foundation Director at a local secondary school, is a trained Spiritual Director in the Ignatian tradition and has been the Head of Centre for Bournemouth Marriage Care since 2015. Roger has been the Marriage and Family Life Coordinator since 2018. Prior to this Roger worked for the Diocese of Portsmouth and before that as an Internal Auditor with English Heritage.
Speaking of his appointment Roger said:
I am very much a people person. Being part of a team that delivers marriage preparation has given me real insights into this key ministry, including understanding the challenges and opportunities it brings. It is important for me that my understanding of the needs of couples preparing for marriage, married couples and families cannot simply be theoretical. My wife and I have learnt new insights from leading marriage preparation, both from the resources, underlying Church Teaching and the insights that each couple brings.
As a husband, parent, grandparent, deacon and worker, I have been formed and shaped by my life experiences, especially the journey of my primary vocation, marriage to Jackie. As with any married relationship and associated family life there have been times when it has been a bit of a roller-coaster and those intimate times, where through God’s grace we have grown closer as a couple.
The origins of Marriage Care are a reminder to me that marriage and the family has experienced different challenges, requiring practical and informed responses. It is easy to overlook that Marriage Care was the direct result of the significant marital breakdown and impact on families that occurred in the aftermath of the Second World War. Rather than simply accept this situation, Catholic clergy and lay collaborators responded by recognising the need to address this situation, identify the root causes and find practical ways to help. Over the years this has seen a growth in services for marriage counselling and in different forms the delivery of marriage preparation that is home-grown.
I am very much looking forward, on behalf of Archbishop Vincent, to working with the Board of Marriage Care on the latest stage of its journey. Marriage and the Family face a number of challenges, which may differ from those of 70 years ago, but the underlying truths and insights of Christian marriage and the place of the family remain the constant. As our foundations are secure we are ready to develop and renew our mission to serve the local Catholic and wider community for the next 70 years.
Marriage Care are continuing to recruit new Trustees to the board at this time and we encourage those who may be interested in this role to visit our Trustee webpage to find out more: https://www.marriagecare.org.uk/get-involved/trustee/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application pack.