Couples in which each of the partners belong to a different Christian denomination – usually Roman Catholic and another Christian communion – are referred to as “interchurch couples” to reflect their involvement in the life of their two churches. They are also often referred to by the more general term “mixed marriages” (especially in the Roman Catholic Church).
United in their Christian faith and marriage commitment, they (and their children) can face spiritual challenges and often have needless difficulties through lack of up-to-date information. Even though there have been enormous advances in the approach, and even the rules, of our churches in recent years, they often have to search far and wide to discover their churches’ latest stance on issues affecting their lives as a “domestic church”.
It was in response to the pastoral needs of such families that the Association of Interchurch Families was founded in 1968, and it now provides:
- a Support Network;
- an Information Service for interchurch families and those concerned with their pastoral care;
- and a Voice in the Churches – by keeping the pastoral needs of interchurch families on the agenda of church leaders and communities – at all levels.
The Association gives interchurch families opportunities to meet other couples in a similar situation and to exchange and explore experiences with them. It often helps to know that you are not the first people to have faced such issues!
Alongside the challenges they face, interchurch families also enjoy particular opportunities, a fact recognised by Pope John Paul II when addressing them at York in 1982 – “You live in your marriages the hope and difficulties of the path to Christian Unity”
The pages of this website explore some of the issues and challenges facing interchurch families. If these issues concern you and you are not able to find the information you need then please click here to contact us.