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Pastoral Support

Pastoral Support

Does the fact that you and your partner come from different church traditions (or denominations) cause you concerns or difficulties?

When faced with couples who belong to different churches some ministers or priests can be unsure about how far their own church allows the “other partner” to be involved in services such as marriage, baptism or communion. Sometimes church regulations can even seem to put barriers in the way of the couple.

The Association of Interchurch Families was formed in 1968 to help couples such as you by providing mutual support and, above all, information about what the churches say about people in your situation. And this is why the Association has at the heart of its mission:

the provision of a support network and information service to interchurch families (including partners and parents, growing children and young adults) as well as clergy, ministers, relatives, and all others concerned in the welfare of these families”.

Although our churches remain divided, ministers are often unaware that much has changed in recent years to help couples live their marriages and bring up their children with the support of both churches.

This website is just one way in which we attempt to provide information, guidance and support to all those referred to in our mission. You will find a mix of articles discussing church teaching and rules; several sets of “questions and answers”; and, to bring our experiences alive, you will also find a number of members’ stories.

No two interchurch couples have followed the same path in their marriages. However, it is important to note that many have written of the joys that they have experienced by being members of two churches as well as, sometimes, difficulties. Theirs is a situation recognised by Saint John Paul II when he said to interchurch families during his visit to England in 1982:

You live in your marriages the hopes and the difficulties of the path to Christian Unity”

More information:

Areas of concern for interchurch families often centre on the occasions of major church celebration. If you have specific concerns try one of these pages in our Support section:

If you cannot find the information that you are seeking, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

Click here to contact us.