Church of Ireland Marriage Council

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Clergy Couples at the Retreat organised by the Marriage Council in Temple House, Sligo, with Rev. Jonny and Alison Campbell-Smyth, facilitators (far right).”

About us


The Marriage Council was set up by the General Synod in 1996 to support and develop the church's role in supporting marriage and family life.


Since then it has...


  • Developed Marriage Matters, a one evening marriage enrichment course for delivery by a network of trained facilitators.
  • Provided training days on marriage for clergy in nearly all dioceses
  • Run two important conferences on Marriage Today and Second Relationships.
  • Produced Towards Marriage, a Marriage Preparation Resource Handbook for clergy and church workers.
  • Set up a network of trained consellors to provide preparation for couples on a one-to-one basis, and conselling for those whose marriages have run into difficulty.
  • The council is appointed biannually by General Synod, and includes representatives of The Mothers' Union, Comac and Counsellors.  A New Council was elected by General Synod in 2014
  • At present the following people serve on the Marriage Council:  Very Rev. Arthur Barrett (Chairperson), Rev. John Ardis, Rev. Stephen Farrell, Canon Lynda Peilow, Mrs. Deirder Whitley, Mrs. Sarah Bevan, Mrs. Rosalind Willoughby, Mrs. Lynne Heber and Mrs. June Wilkinson.