UK Bishops boost support for family life

The Bishops of England and Wales this week launched a major grassroots initiative to support Catholics in their family life.

The Universe reports that Celebrating Family comprises three separate initiatives over the next three years, addressing key areas in which the Church will offer more support to family life.

These local parish-based initiatives are based on the specific local needs identified by 15,000 families from every diocese in the country who responded to an invitation from the Bishops, entitled Listening 2004, to tell them how they could offer more support.

A central aim of the initiative is to include all ages and resources, available on a dedicated website including information packs, leaflets, tips and courses, have been developed to support families from cradle to grave.

Diocesan co-ordinators will be able to help local parishes in using these resources while also developing ways of supporting families.

"This initiative is based upon what families have told us through Listening 2004," said Bishop John Hine, chair of the Bishops committee for Marriage and Family Life. "Families talked about how important the parish was to them. It is a community in which they want to feel known, accepted and loved fro who they are. They want to experience their parish as a place where they can find friendship and to experience their parish as a wider family to whom they can turn in times of joy and sorrow."

Bishop Hine said that a significant number of families find that their local parish does not offer sufficient support.

"Sadly we heard from families who did not experience any of these things in their parish communities. Some felt quite isolated and alone.

The three year initiative will continue next year and following an international symposium at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw in October, Celebrating Family will focus on marital and family spirituality in 2007, under the banner Home is a Holy Place.

Celebrating Family: Blessed, Broken, Living Love (The Universe 16/1/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Church in England and Wales | Celebrating Family: Blessed, Broken, Living Love (Press Release 10/1/06)

17 Jan 2006