Marriage and Family Life Ministry in the Diocese of Brentwood

The Directorate for Marriage and Family Life falls under the Vicariate for Evangelisation, but it has its own departmental structure. Support for marriage and family is a crucial part of the Church’s ministry, and of great importance for society as a whole.
A committee assists the Bishop in advancing the vocation and mission of the lay faithful, of married couples and families. Founded on magisterial teaching we seek to assist the bishop as he promotes in a culturally diverse Church, the evangelisation, faith formation and public witness of these persons, leading them toward a deeper commitment to Christ and his Church so as to transform culture and society.

Marriage and Family Life ministry includes the following areas of responsibility:

  • Marriage preparation
  • Marriage enrichment
  • Laity in the world and the Church, including the concerns of women and men
  • The promotion and protection of marriage and family life
  • Natural family planning

We see our key tasks as:

  • Communicating and applying the teaching of the Church on the unique character of the vocation and mission of the lay faithful to engage and transform society according to the plan of God
  • Sustaining emphasis on the essential importance of the authentic teaching of the Church on marriage as the permanent, faithful and fruitful bond of one man and one woman, in particular through the magisterial teaching of the Second Vatican Council and papal magisterium, assisted by the truths of right reason available in the natural sciences
  • Providing leadership, consultation and resources for the diocese including the response to pastoral and public policy issues that concern marriage and family life
  • Assisting through education, training, and other resources to provide services and to maintain standards in the teaching of natural family planning
  • Studying issues related to lay ecclesial ministry and providing leadership resources for the diocese, colleges and universities
  • Fostering the education of young people with special emphasis on a proper understanding of marriage and family life, sexuality and the vocation to chastity and a life of discipleship founded on prayer, sacramental participation, and service to others
  • Providing leadership and diocesan direction, including consultation and resources, for the diocese
  • Collaborating with institutions that counsel people with special pastoral needs
  • Cooperating with universities, institutes, and organisations that address questions of theological anthropology, marriage and family, faith and culture, lay ministry and leadership, and discipleship to evangelise society


Marriage ring

Getting married in the Catholic Church

If you have recently got engaged and want to get married in the Catholic Church (even if the marriage is taking place in another part of the country or overseas), then In the first instance you should contact the parish priest who covers the address where you live (if both of you are Catholic this can be either home address; if just one of you is Catholic this must be the Catholic’s address). He will oversee all aspects of your marriage preparation including the administrative process and the preparation for life as a married couple.

If you have been told to go on a marriage preparation course please be aware the diocese does not actually run courses. There are other organisations operating within the diocese who do run marriage courses as well as courses run at a parish or deanery level, so it is best to talk to your parish priest about this. If your parish priest has suggested you go on a ‘Marriage Care’ or ‘Preparing Together Course’ you will find the information at You can find information on the weekend courses run by ‘Engaged Encounter’ (part of Worldwide Marriage Encounter) at Please note that both courses will need to be supplemented by sessions with your parish priest and/or parish or deanery catechists.

Questions relating to marriage paperwork: if you have a query about papers that have been submitted to the diocese for a marriage taking place elsewhere, please note that these are dealt with by the Chancery, not the Marriage and Family Life Department. These papers are generally processed in a timely manner and in the case of overseas weddings you will be sent a set of copies to take with you at the same time the papers are posted to the diocese where the wedding is to take place. However if you have any further questions about this process please contact the priest handling your papers or go to the Chancery department page and use the contact details there.

Brentwood Marriage Policy 2018

Marriage and Family Life - Staff

Diocesan Director and Chaplain Fr Matthew Bemand-Qureshi
Projects Anna McCormick

Natural Family Planning

Introduction to Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a natural, healthy and effective method which unites husband and wife in the shared responsibility of creating and caring for their family.
The Catholic Church recognises that couples, in exercising responsible parenthood, may for good reasons decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time. However the Church also calls on every couple to respect the essential connection between procreation and the intimate union of husband and wife.

Read more……………Natural Family Planning