UK National Marriage Week 2020: 11th – 17th May. ‘The Forever Conversation’

Michaela Hyde, coordinator of UK National Marriage Week and Executive Director of Marriage Foundation

Every year, since 1997, the UK has had a week of celebration for Marriage.  Up until last year, it was held in February around Valentine’s day but in 2019 it was moved to the Spring – May.  Marriage Week has been part of many church calendars as couples are encouraged to celebrate and invest in their relationship, often with churches holding specific events or services focussing on the theme for the year.  This year, we find ourselves in uncharted waters. Churches all over the UK are in lockdown due to the Coronavirus and many are looking to live stream their regular services or find other creative ways of staying connected. For the vast majority of couples across the UK, they now find themselves more connected than ever in the physical sense of being in lockdown together, but this can have the potential to bring fresh challenges too.  So how can couples navigate this time so that they grow stronger together and have a story of how this unique set of circumstances has actually been incredibly good for their marriage?

At Marriage Week, we have some specific suggestions in response to this question:

  1. This year’s theme is ‘The Forever Conversation’ – a conversation had by couples to talk about what they are doing to make sure their marriage lasts a lifetime. It’s about being intentional, talking about what is working well and how to continue to flourish, and in the areas that aren’t so healthy, working together to find ways to improve.  Being intentional and communicating clearly to each other is hugely important for couples throughout their marriage but it has greater poignancy right now and with respect to this year’s UK Marriage Week. And for those couples who aren’t married, the Forever Conversation is about taking stock of their relationship and making decisions about their future together. Our website has some great talking points and suggestions on how couples can have a Forever Conversation which can be found here.
  2. The Church can be a significant help for couples during this time of quarantine. Keep in contact with couples and direct them towards our website (marriage-week.co.uk) to use our resources and seek out ideas and support from our partners. The 17th May is the Sunday of Marriage Week so we’d suggest that you live stream a service which is focussed on marriage and relationships.  We’ve put together some resources to help, although some of them will need to be adapted for an online service!

Let’s use the weeks ahead and Marriage Week itself as an opportunity to enable stronger, healthier and resilient relationships within our congregations and in our communities.  Stronger couples mean stronger families which mean a stronger society.  And this couldn’t be a more vital message right now.

 

Michaela Hyde is the coordinator of UK National Marriage Week and Executive Director of Marriage Foundation.  She also presents ‘The M Word’ podcast with her husband Nick.