The Marriage Educators Committee (MEC) is a group established by the Bishop for the purpose of supporting Marriage Educators (those who prepare couples for Christian Marriage) in the Diocese.
The Committee keeps a database of names of those involved in this ministry in our various parishes and chaplaincies. Each parish has its own style of marriage preparation. It is our hope that Pastoral Areas might consider a standardised pattern of marriage preparation across the parishes of their Pastoral Area.
The Marriage Educators Committee offers assistance to those involved in marriage preparation in two principal ways:
Each year there is a gathering in Christchurch for those involved in this ministry. This is an opportunity to share resources, to reflect together on our experience of this ministry and to celebrate and salute what they have achieved across the diocese. This networking builds the relationship Marriage Educators enjoy together, and strengthens the quality of the work they do. They also publish an annual Marriage Educators newsletter which goes out to all who are on the database, and to all parish priests.
Every two years a National Training Weekend is held for current and prospective Marriage Educators. This is a rich and rewarding opportunity to hear excellent speakers and to attend interactive workshops on the topics that are presented to engaged couples. This is perhaps the most effective way to establish or rejuvenate a Marriage Team in a Parish or Pastoral Area.
Every other year, the Marriage Educators Committee coordinates a Workshop Training Day . It is held in Christchurch and again offers input and practical assistance to those who prepare our engaged couples for Christian marriage.
The Marriage Educators Committee also oversees the training of COMMIT facilitators (those who take engaged couples through an inventory of statements which identify areas for further discussion in preparation for the parish-based marriage programme).
Details of Marriage Preparation programmes and the COMMIT inventory are available through your parish priest.
A member of the MEC is also on the national body called Catholic Network of Marriage Educators (CNME).
For general enquiries – Contact the Vicar for Marriage Father Simon Eccleton.