All the info you need

What is a Marriage Encounter Weekend?

Here we hope to answer that. If you still have unanswered questions please do check our FAQ pages here or get in touch through our contact page here.

We offer three type of experiences; all three have the same content, they are simply delivered in different ways to help you get the most out of the experience.

Residential Weekend – This is our option of choice to leave the worries and distractions of the week behind. Beginning on a Friday evening, this experience offers a relaxed atmosphere where you will be able to engage in the sessions and develop your relationship with your spouse. All meals and accommodation are included, allowing you to focus on enjoying time away. The Weekend finishes late Sunday afternoon.

Non- Residential Weekend – Here the option is to choose your own accommodation, breakfast & evening meal. The sessions run in two blocks across the days, Saturday & Sunday, with you able to leave the venue Saturday evening to stay where you want. This can be a great option if you are fairly close to the venue and want to stay at home.

Online Experience – Developed during the Covid pandemic, this option delivers the same sessions into your own home via Zoom. There is a short introduction Zoom session on the Thursday evening before the weekend to ensure all the technology works for you, then the main sessions run through the daytime on Saturday & Sunday, with regular breaks for drinks & meals. It’s important to note when joining an Online Experience that trying to juggle childcare at the same time detracts from the intimacy and overall experience, so we recommend making childcare arrangements.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a Movement which aims to give couples who are married, or in long-standing relationships and commitment, the opportunity to enrich and refresh their relationships.   It also seeks to give priests and religious the chance to reflect on their vocation and enhance their relationship with their parish and community.
Weekends are Catholic in origin and ethos. Couples of any or no faith are also most welcome. Since its launch, over 5 million couples in almost 100 countries have experienced a Weekend.
Marriage Encounter is not aimed at marriages or relationships that are in difficulty, because the Movement does not offer advice or counselling for marriages in crisis.

We are also part of the Catholic Alliance of Marriage Organisations which aim to support Marriages at all stages of relationship.

The Weekend is a strictly private experience between each couple. There are no group dynamics. Throughout the Weekend, presentations are given to the group as a whole. After each presentation, the husband and wife are invited to reflect on a question and to write about their reaction to what has been said. They then have time to share their views and their own personal discussion in privacy. The only time everyone is asked to speak out is to introduce themselves to the group at the beginning of the Weekend. However, it is a busy, structured Weekend, with little free time.

Marriage Encounter receives little external financial support. Its work is mostly financed by the donations of couples who have attended Weekends. The team couples and priest present the Weekend on a completely voluntary basis.

Others have gladly given so you can experience the Weekend without having to worry about whether you can afford it.  The Weekend is offered to you as a gift!

For a residential & non-residential Weekend we ask for £50 booking deposit. There are no other costs associated with the Weekend. If you choose a Residential weekend, accommodation & meals are all covered. At the end of the Weekend you will be given the opportunity to help towards the cost of future Weekends if you wish.

For the Online Experience we ask for a £75 donation which covers the cost of materials and the cost of posting them to you.

All our experiences are offered as a gift, if you have concerns about the costs please get in touch with us as we wouldn’t want cost to be prohibitive.

The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is designed for couples who are committed to each other and want to make a good marriage great. If there is nothing wrong with your marriage, you don’t ‘need’ a Weekend – you DESERVE one.
The Weekend is presented by Catholic couples and a priest, so is Catholic in orientation, but mixed faith couples or even those who have not faith are welcome and can benefit by enriching their relationship.
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is based on Catholic values, but you do not have to be Catholic to participate. The Weekend is open to mixed faith couples or those with no religious beliefs. Couples in long standing relationships are also warmly welcomed. The focus of the Weekend is on how a couple can enrich their relationship.
There is no group sharing. The only sharing is between your spouse and yourself. On a couple of occasions you will be offered the opportunity to share, but it is purely voluntary.
A Marriage Encounter Weekend is not a marriage counselling situation. Marriage Encounter is all about enhancing your marriage to make it the best marriage it possibly can be.  Couples who come on a Marriage Encounter Weekend mostly have good marriages and the desire to make them better. However, that is not to say that couples with challenges in their marriage don’t come on a Marriage Encounter Weekend. Many do, and they find at the end of the Weekend that they have a deeper understanding of what it takes to work through challenges in a caring, loving and more communicative way than they might have done previously.
Participants in the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend experience the wonderful blending of the two Sacraments; Matrimony and Holy Orders which continue to be a powerful force for the renewal of our Church. Worldwide Marriage Encounter teaches a technique of communication that helps each person to better relate to their spouse. For married couples that means each other. For you as a priest/ religious, your ‘spouse’ could be taken to mean everyone you have dedicated your life to. For your Weekend it would be great if you can invite along a priest/ religious friend, otherwise you would work on these techniques with the priest on the presenting team.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter is faithful to the Catholic Church’s teaching, as stated in Canon Law, that marriage is a covenant that exists between one man and one woman.  Any reference to marriage or couple made by Worldwide Marriage Encounter is in this context.

Yes, there are Baptist and Anglican marriage enrichment (Marriage Encounter) weekends, too.