The week has got off to a bit of a traditional start with being involved in part of the marriage prep course of the Rochester Deanery churches. We are offering the course as an option for all those couples being married in one of our churches in 2011. I Have heard of some places which make a marriage prep course ‘compulsory’ to having their wedding in the chosen church …. not only do I think this is immoral, but I think I am right in saying that the church has no right to make any such insistence as everyone has the ‘right’ to be married in their local church …. it’s part of the CofE being the established church.
I was involved in the first session on Monday night, which we are running at Rochester Coffee Co from 730pm and I will be leading next weeks session which looks at the marriage vows and what the word ‘commitment’ means within a marriage.
I must admit I have a slight aversion to the one size fits all approach of HTB stuff, but this marriage prep course does actually look quite good. The couples seem to enjoy the course as the discussions are always within the couples. This is not really a course that tells people what they should be doing, but rather gives opportunities to talk together about their thoughts. For example, next week the couples will have an opportunity to talk together about what the vows mean to them.
So … if you are looking for a marriage prep course … then consider this … although I do think spending time with the couple over coffee and chatting, although far more labour intensive, is a better option because then it really can be personalised towards the couple themselves.