Top British Marriage Leaders Applaud Marriage Savers
Thu Aug 19 12:29:23 EDT 1999
from: Smart Marriages
For Immediate Release:
Top British Marriage Leaders Applaud Marriage Savers
After hearing from Mike McManus, President of an American
organization, Marriage Savers, Inc., which has helped to bring down
rates in two dozen cities by as much as 30%-35%, British Anglican,
and Seventh Day Adventist leaders expressed the hope that both churches
local authorities would soon adopt the marriage preparation and saving
strategies that have proved so useful in the United States.
In the United States, Marriage Savers has persuaded both
Protestant and Catholic clergy in 110 cities and some local governments to
adopt "Community Marriage Policies" that require serious marriage
preparation, involving the taking of a premarital inventory to assess the
couple's relationship's strengths and areas where growth is needed and to
be trained in communication and conflict resolution skills. The churches
are training older couples with solid marriages to donate their time and
wisdom as Mentor Couples to help the younger generation. Churches have
also equipped couples whose marriages had once nearly failed, to mentor
those now considering divorce, helping 80% to 90% of them to rebuild their
In only one year after the acceptance of a Community Marriage
Policy, divorces fell 14% in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 15% in Evansville,
Indiana and 21% in Dalton, Georgia. They are down 30% in Modesto,
California and 35% in Kansas City, Kansas.
Chris Grimshaw, Chairman of Christians Together in Totnes, was
inspired by the "Community Marriage Policies," to create the Totnes
Community Family Policy in Devon, which has involved a cross-section of
towns top political, business, civic and religious leaders. He expressed
the conviction that the Mentor Couple concept ought to be planted in
"Marriage Savers is a key to unlock a lot of the potential we have in
society to enable couples to help each other to have better marriages," he
Mrs. Alison Davies, Social Responsibility Officer in Chelmsford Diocese
(East London and Essex), said "If the churches conscientiously implemented
the Marriage Savers idea of selecting couples with strong marriages, and
training them to be `Mentor Couples to help prepare the engaged for a
life-long-marriage before the wedding, strengthen existing ones, and come
along side those whose marriages get in trouble I believe the divorce
would be reduced dramatically. The churches would then have a new resource
to serve the community both churched and unchurched."
" Sadly, the U.K. divorce rate has risen to that of the United States, of
one divorce for every two marriages. If we are going to import Americas
problem, lets also import the best answer to come out of America," she
John Kerr, Director of Marriage Review, a national interdenominational
that runs marriage-strengthening retreats,
Said Mike McManus's visit has reinforced the urgent need for society to
tackle the issue of failing relationships, of which marriage is the most
important. We can learn much from the proven approach and manuals
by of Marriage Savers. I am sure that it can provide a strong cutting
in many situations in the U.K.
"The divorce rate in this country, highest in Europe, has to
substantially reduced if we are to have a healthy society. I was struck
Mike McManus's statement that 'Each failed marriage is the destruction of
small civilization' For me that says it all."
Mrs Dilly Bradley, Taunton Deane Borough Councillor and Council
representative to Somerset RELATE was one of four local councillors who
attended a meeting in Taunton Deane on 17th August. "Now that one of the
Council's corporate priorities is the social well being of Taunton Deane,
Marriage Savers can help. It provides tested and effective material for
developing the life skills of communication and conflict resolution. The
extensive damage caused by relationship breakdown demands a Community
Marriage Policy. This can best be achieved in partnership with other
organisations and may be funded by National Lottery money."
Mike McManus was interviewed live on Channel 4 News on Monday
16th August and BBC Breakfast TV aired a feature based on his initial
lecture in London on 17th August. The Guardian ran a feature story Monday
16th August. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Mike McManus trained a
of pastoral leaders in how to create Community Marriage Policies and
Marriage Saver Churches in Taunton following a meeting of local political
and church leaders.
Mr. McManus will be in London Thursday to meet with additional religious
leaders and the press. To arrange an interview for then or later, call 44
1-823-432-420 (Nick Gulliford).
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