Diocesan Family Ministry

An introduction to our section on Diocesan Family Ministry.

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Marriage and family life ministry in the Catholic Church in England and Wales came of age with the launch of FAMILIAS – the Association for Catholic Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Ministry.

Established by the national network of diocesan family ministry coordinators, FAMILIAS aims to promote and highlight marriage and family life ministry by sharing good practice and resources, providing peer support and training and advocating for families and family ministry.

At the time of its launch, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor sent a message of support for FAMILIAS, commending its vital work “which has the indispensable task of supporting couples and families in every way that will be open to it. May God bless everyone connected with this most important initiative.”

“The future of the world and of the church passes through the family”
Familiaris Consortio #75

Diocesan Ministry

Within dioceses of England and Wales, the exact role of the Marriage and Family Life Ministry Co-ordinator varies.

Nevertheless FAMILIAS understands the role of the Diocesan Coordinator of Family Life Ministry to be at least that accepted by the Bishops’ Conference in 1994, that is:

  • caring for, supporting and promoting all areas of family life; offering pastoral support to all – clergy and laity – involved in the work of affirming marriage, family life and the parish family
  • providing information and resources in family matters for all parishioners and clergy
  • organising training opportunities and coordinating lay involvement
  • acting as a link with existing diocesan agencies to support families with a particular need
  • strengthening ecumenical links enabling cooperation with other Christian Churches at appropriate diocesan and parish level and where possible offering joint programmes.