Holy Matrimony

Holy Matrimony : An Exploration of Ministry and Marriage

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This review, based on extensive research, shows the particular pressures on clergy marriages and the weaknesses in them. The book includes suggestions for strengthening the support for marriages.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 129 x 198mm | 244g
  • SPCK Publishing
  • Lynx Communications
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0745930654
  • 9780745930657

Table of contents

Introduction - a case study: aim of the book; why it is necessary; the approach taken. Part 1 The story of clergy marriage: the history of clergy marriage/celibacy; marriage today and how this affects clergy marriage. Part 2 Are clergy marriages different?: factors which put particular pressures on these marriages. Part 3 Drawn together or pulled apart?: why clergy and their partners choose each other; the surprising similarity between this and the way clergy discern their ministerial vocation. Part 4 United we stand: examples of how if a marriage works, the ministry works, and if not, probably not; ambivalence of parish and congregation to married clergy - families wanted but often not allowed space for proper family life. Part 5 A safe stronghold: sex issues and gender questions in clergy marriages; unusual difficulty of ascertaining how couples perceive these; unusual and surprising results of research. Part 6 The his and hers see-saw: how the ministry is perceived by the partners, and the marriage and the minister!; often these are perceived differently by the partners while using the same words; the problem of communication, and of how couples talk about the ministry itself. Part 7 "And the world said...": living with expectations in Church and neighbourhood. Part 8 The rectors' wife: the public/private sides to these marriages; sharing one's partner with others and being separate yet together. Part 9 Love me, love my God: God as the hidden agenda; wife can't protest at the value system of the ministry, but has to carry a lot of guilt for husband; who carries hers?; clergy marriages are often more of an agent for ministry than a means of personal fulfilment, so language of emotion often not used. Part 10 Pressures little help: marginalization, social isolation. Part 11 Prevention is better than cure: improving communication skills; roles and persons - how to drop the role at home; intimacy and separation; recognizing the difficulties; implications for selection and training; ten practical issues for the Church to address. Part 12 Selection and training: what happens at present; other denominations; lack of cohesion and co-ordination; how to improve; perspectives for women priests and male spouses. Part 13 Making it work: what should happen.show more