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Welcome to the web site of the
Association of Interchurch Families
in England, Scotland and Wales.
What is an Interchurch Family?
Couples in which each of the partners belongs to a different Christian denomination are often referred to as Interchurch Families, and sometimes have needless difficulties through lack of up-to-date information. There have been enormous advances in the approach, and even the rules, of our churches in recent years.
The Association of Interchurch Families helps such couples – and those concerned with their pastoral welfare. The help we offer is described below in our Mission
The Association of Interchurch Families provides:
a support network and information service
- for interchurch families (where the partners belong to different denominations – usually Roman Catholic and another Christian church);
- for partners and parents, growing children and young adults;
- for clergy, ministers, relatives, and all others concerned in the welfare of interchurch families.
a voice in the churches
- by keeping the pastoral needs of interchurch families before church leaders and communities, at local, regional, national and international level;
- by affirming the gifts of interchurch families and their potential as a catalyst for wider church unity;
- by linking with groups of interchurch families in other parts of the world.
All these activities are rooted in prayer and worship.
About this site …
These pages explore some of the pastoral issues and challenges that Interchurch Families face, showing how others have coped in similar situations.
They also present personal testimony to illustrate the riches that interchurch couples can experience as they live their lives in not one, but two Christian traditions; and they point visitors towards the opportunities that interchurch couples can offer their churches. Such couples live their marriages in the context of two divided churches but they show that it is possible to make unity work!
Pope John Paul recognised these two aspects of life as an interchurch couple when he addressed interchurch families during his visit to England in 1982, saying:
“You live in your marriages the hopes and the difficulties of the path to Christian Unity”
And Pope Benedict XVI, said in his address in Warsaw in 2006:
“The decision of a Catholic and a Christian of another communion to marry can lead to the formation of a practical laboratory of unity. For this to happen there is a need for mutual goodwill, understanding and maturity in faith of both partners, and also of the communities from which they come.”
We hope that you will take time to browse the site to find out more. If you can't find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please use the Contact Form or contact the office.
Interchurch, or inter-faith?
Please note that interchurch families are not the same as inter-faith families where the partners are members of different religions. If your interest is in such families further information can be found at www.interfaithmarriage.org.uk
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