Marriage Preparation

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The Marriage Preparation Course is for any engaged couple who wants to develop strong foundations for a lasting marriage.  Over five evenings spent together you will learn important tools that will enable you to make your marriage work.

You Will Look At

• The importance of commitment
• How to recognise and appreciate your differences
• The art of communication
• Resolving conflict
• Spending time together
• Nurturing your friendship
• Making each other feel loved
• Developing a good sexual relationship
• The importance of talking about your goals, values and dreams
The evenings are very relaxed. There is a meal followed by short talks interspersed with exercises and questions for you to discuss together as a couple.

Who's It For?

It is for any engaged couple who wants to work at having the best possible start to their marriage.

It doesn't matter how long you have been engaged - some couples have set a wedding date, while others have not.

The course is based on Christian principles for relationships and is run by Christians but it is suitable for people with or without a church background. You do not need to be getting married in a church to come on the course.

What's Involved?

The course takes place over five evenings. It may take the form of a central course at The Middle Brook Centre with other couples, or just the two of you with a ‘support couple’ (a couple who are trained in hosting and helping your get the most out of the course, who will host the course in their home)

A typical evening starts at 7.30pm and finishes by 10pm. Each evening includes:

A meal – the evening starts having a meal together with your ‘support couple’ (they will be your hosts for the course). At no time on the course will you have to disclose anything personal to anyone else.

Talk and discussion - each evening you will watch a DVD presentation. The talk is broken up with opportunities for you and your fiancé(e) to talk through the issues raised as a couple.

Homework - at the end of each session you are given some homework to do together. This will help you to build on what you have learnt and give you the opportunity to apply it to your relationship. Don’t worry – it won’t be marked! It isn’t looked at by anyone else and is just for your own benefit.

FOCCUS Questionnaire
Before the course starts you will be asked to complete a questionnaire called FOCCUS. This questionnaire will ask about different aspects of your relationship. It is not a test nor is it a predictor of whether your marriage will succeed or fail. It is a tool to help highlight any important issues that you would benefit from discussing before you get married. Couples find this very useful and once you have completed it you will have the opportunity to discuss the results with your support couple.

Support couples
This is a couple who have been married for at least two years and either host the course in their home for you or be part of a central course. You will have the opportunity to talk through any issues that have been raised by the course or through the questionnaire. This has been greatly appreciated by many couples.

What People Say

'So many couples spend so much time preparing for their wedding ceremony rather than preparing for their marriage. I commend all couples intending to get married to do this course.' J. John

'Nicky and Sila Lee are great communicators and, most importantly, they are honest. And we need that: we need young people at the very beginning of their lives together to tackle issues honestly. I believe The Marriage Preparation Course is going to be an incredible resource in our nation. I recommend it with all my heart.'    Rob Parsons

What The Couples Say

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I’ve learnt so much and now instead of being terrified of our differences we have embraced them. Instead of worrying about what might go wrong we now have tools that will help us overcome those issues.’

‘Discussing new issues was a challenge, yet very rewarding and I feel drew us closer together. It was interesting to find that with most issues we had not yet discussed we had the same feelings.’

‘Without a doubt talking over the issues was beneficial to us. We have really tried to do things differently and put each other first.’

‘We found that many issues we'd never thought about discussing came up when we did Marriage Prep. We thoroughly enjoyed the course and gained so much practical advice from it that I believe we will use for years to come!’

‘It was an excellent way of making clear the differences between us and getting us to discuss it further in a good way. We know we have areas we need to work on, but we are very aware of them and how we can handle them.’

‘I believe that the course is great and it exceeded all my expectations. Thanks very much for getting our marriage off to a great start.’

What Next?

For more information about the course, to register or for an informal chat, please contact Jamie & Jenny Cann at familyministries@hopewinchester.org or telephone the church offices on 01962 840800.