Marriage Care are Seeking New Trustees!


The board of Catholic Marriage Care are seeking new members to join them in enabling the vital relationship support services they provide to the Catholic Community and beyond.

Marriage Care are the largest faith-based relationship support charity in the UK – providing marriage preparation, support, and low-cost relationship counselling to those in need and making the world of difference to couples and families.

The organisation has experienced some significant and exciting developments of late including a partnership with its sister organisation, ACCORD, in Northern Ireland. Through this partnership 15 new relationship counsellors will be trained and once qualified will work with couples based in Northern Ireland as well as England and Wales. Trainees will undertake Marriage Care’s Certificate in Relationship Counselling (CRC) course, validated by St Mary’s University College Belfast, and will be ready to start working with couples, under clinical supervision, in Autumn 2024.

Post-pandemic the charity has seen longer wait times for counselling, despite increasing the number of counsellors via two current internal training programmes. This has been a catalyst for the implementation of an ‘Initial Appointment’ for couples who are waiting for counselling. ‘’The initial appointment will help couples whilst they wait for a counsellor to become available. We know that the first session alone can have a huge positive impact on couples and we wanted to provide that benefit to couples as soon as possible in their journey. It will also help to ensure that we match clients with the right kind of support. We hope to roll out the initial session in March’’ Michelle Hayes, Head of Relationship Counselling, shared.

There are also changes on the marriage preparation front with more in-person courses being available and couples now having a choice between preparing online or in-person. Marriage Care provide two marriage preparation options – Preparing Together, an interactive group course that provides couples with the tools and knowledge they need for a healthy marriage, and FOCCUS – a tailored, questionnaire-based marriage preparation service for couples to attend one to one with a facilitator. All facilitators are fully trained and receive ongoing support and CPD – for example on Natural Family Planning and the Sacrament amongst other topics.

We will also be extending our relationship enrichment offering with the implementation of an exciting new project this summer; the first step being a revamp of our social media channels and greater contact with our previous marriage preparation couples.

As we turn our attention to the board and finding new members to join us in our mission to support couples – in the good times and bad – we asked our Chair, Reverend Roger Carr-Jones, to share his experience of volunteering as a Trustee:

‘’For me, being a trustee has been as much about receiving, as it is about contributing my skills and experience. I have learnt much about myself as I have of my fellow trustee’s giftedness. It is a role in which you discover your own hidden talents and nurture those of others. This has enabled us, as a Board, to arrive at solutions, which working singularly would not be achieved. Being a trustee requires commitment and a willingness to put in some hard work in order that the organisation can grow and flourish. As the Chair, getting the right combination of skills and acknowledging contributions is key.

Being a trustee has been a time of personal growth, not least in working with my fellow trustees to respond to the challenges of the pandemic and its consequences. This has meant us learning to work differently as an organisation and a Board.  In navigating these challenges, we learnt how our combined skill-sets make a difference.

For me, it has been the opportunity to discover that my skills, experience and life experience add one part to the whole. It has been the discovery that each of my fellow trustees is wonderfully unique and that its our combination of different talents that makes us complete. I am passionate about the difference Marriage Care makes to the lives of couples and society as a whole in providing a much-needed voice to support the centrality of marriage for the good of society and how sustaining stable relationships makes a difference.

Discovering that contributing my expertise makes a difference has been invigorating and affirming. This has helped me to give my best in making decisions on behalf of the organisation, to know that my involvement is an important cog. As trustees, we have to be willing to roll up our sleeves, learn from our mistakes and the contributions of others to build a sustainable model for the next stage of Charity’s story – an ongoing joy!’’

How about you? Marriage Care are inviting those interested in joining them in the Trustee role to visit their webpage to find out more: Become a Trustee – Marriage Care

There are also other roles such as marriage preparation course facilitator and qualified relationship counsellor, and admin and support roles – these can be explored at Marriage Care’s volunteer webpage: Get involved | volunteer | donate | support (