Skip to main content

Family Relationships, Parenting and Marriage

Volume 736: debated on Thursday 20 July 2023

9. To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent steps the Church of England has taken to help support family relationships, parenting and marriage. (906095)

The Archbishop’s recent “Love Matters” commission on family issues made 36 recommendations for the Church of England and 29 for the Government. They included supporting family hubs, developing high-quality marriage preparation, and building relational capability at all life stages and not just for couples who are preparing for marriage. I will place a copy of that report and the previous ones in the Library.

A strong and stable family unit undoubtedly provides the best environment in which to raise children. What steps is the Church of England taking to provide relationship support and guidance to those families who need it to help them to stay together?

That is a really important question. The Children’s Commissioner has pointed out that almost a quarter of UK families are headed by a lone parent; that compares with an average of an eighth of families in Europe. The Bishop of Durham, who co-chaired the commission, wants to see every deanery in the Church of England offering the very best marriage preparation to all couples, and for the Church to support their relationships at every life stage.

Sitting suspended.