‘Jesus said, ‘have you not read that the Creator from the beginning made them male and female and said ‘this is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife and the two become one flesh? They are no longer two, therefore, but one flesh. So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide.’ (Mt 19:4-6)

The office for Marriage and Family Life seeks to promote the vocation of marriage and to support families in the variety of circumstances in which they find themselves today.

Couples seeking to enter into marriage in the Catholic Church must take part in a process of marriage preparation. In this diocese such preparation can take a variety of forms. For more information, please click here.

The Holy Family Project is a diocesan initiative aimed at offering support to married couples and families to grow in love of God and for one another.  Futher information can be found on or by contacting Father Bryan Cunningham on

Relationship Counselling

Need to talk? Need Someone to Listen?

We all aspire to harmony at home but inevitably couples experience relationship difficulties that they may struggle to resolve. When it’s hard to talk things through and challenges seem insurmountable, engaging a skilled relationship counsellor can make all the difference.

Whether things are not quite right or you are faced with a more serious relationship issue, Marriage Care is here to help. We listen carefully, help you to share with each other, feel more connected as a couple and support you towards finding a peaceful resolution.

To find out more about Marriage Care services or book an appointment near you, visit our website or call our appointments team on 0800 389 3801


Marriage Preparation Courses 

Marriage Preparation courses which present aspects of the vision of Christian married life today: expectations, communication, the Sacrament and the power of love.

‘Preparing Together’ our 1-day group experience, explores key relationship skills, expectations, sacrament and the importance of your marriage vows. Courses are available throughout England & Wales. Local venues include Blackburn, Oldham, Sale, Stockport and Altrincham. Click on this link and enter your postcode to find the next available dates.

In addition to the group courses we also offer a tailored one-to-one experience called FOCCUS. With increased flexibility around meeting times and dates and the opportunity for a deeper personal experience, this can be the preferred option for some couples.

Choose ‘FOCCUS’ for a more private couple experience, tailored to your unique relationship, exploring together relationship strengths and development opportunities.

To find out more about Marriage Care or book a programme near you, visit Marriage Care’s website or call the Appointments team on 0800 389 3801

Marriage Preparation Resources

Below are some Marriage Preparation Resources which catechists and parishes may find useful. These should not replace a marriage preparation course.

Marriage Preparation Presentation (PPT)
Marriage Preparation Presentation (PDF)

Love for a Lifetime – Booklet 1
Love for a Lifetime – Booklet 2
Love for a Lifetime – Booklet 3
Love for a Lifetime – Booklet 4

Upcoming Marriage Preparation Dates

For details about Marriage Preparation in your locality, please contact your Parish Priest.

St Joseph’s Deanery

Our next marriage preparation course will take place on Saturday 3rd and Saturday 10th September 2022 between 2pm and 5:00pm. If you would like to take part in the course, please complete the Registration Form and return it to Fr Reginald by emailing, or by post to St. John Fisher’s Presbytery, Manchester Road, Kearsley, Bolton BL4 8QQ.



The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church…. “The desire to marry and form a family remains vibrant, especially among young people, and this is an inspiration to the Church”. As a response to that desire, “the Christian proclamation on the family is good news indeed”.

Pope Francis, Amoria Laetitia