The Christian Heritage Centre

A weekend marriage enrichment retreat

"A Great Mystery":
Man and Wife as an image of Christ and His Church

Friday 19th - Sunday 21st May 2023

Discover the beauty and significance
of the Catholic vision for marriage

“There is a strong need in the Church and in the world to rediscover the meaning and value of the conjugal union between a man and a woman, on which the family is founded”

Pope Francis, Address to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, 27th January 2023

Take time out to discover the value that the Church places on human love in the marital covenant, and its significance as an icon of the love of Christ for His Church. In a society that continues to experience high failure rates in marriages, the Church’s Sacrament offers a foundation for the possibility of a lasting and loving covenant, built on an authentic understanding of masculinity and femininity.

The retreat will address the following themes:

  • What does our culture today say about the human person?
  • God’s plan or our plan? The meaning of human nature and love
  • The Rupture between the Sexes: Original Sin and its consequences for relationships
  • “A Great Mystery”: Man and Wife as an image of Christ and His Church
  • Masculinity misconstrued: A Christian model of manhood
  • Equality in difference: Building an authentic femininity

The retreat is structured around six talks, with opportunities for discussion in small groups, for personal reflection and for socials.

The retreat is framed by morning and evening prayer, Mass, Adoration and opportunities for confession.

Fr. David Marsden is a qualified clinical psychologist, spiritual director and experienced retreat leader.
He has worked as a psychologist and formation tutor in two national seminaries and expresses a passion
for accompanying and mentoring young men into living the fullness of their Christian vocation. He
completed an MA in Theology at the Maryvale Institute in 2016 with the title of his dissertation being
‘The Priest as Spiritual Father.’ He has written a Theology of the Body (TOB) healing retreat, served
as chaplain to the TOB Institute in the USA and co-founded the TOB Network UK along with Dr.
Christine Ward in 2020. He is currently the spiritual director of the Men & Women of St. Joseph
which is a national movement aimed at restoring a vibrant Catholic faith in England.

Christine Ward has been married to Tom for 32 years, they have four children and live in North Yorkshire, UK.  Christine completed an MA through the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham in 2011 and completed her PhD also through Maryvale in 2017.  She teaches the Christian Anthropology and Sexual Ethics modules for the Master’s programme at Maryvale and she also lectures on the Sacrament of Marriage at Oscott Seminary in Birmingham.  

An extract from her doctoral thesis: “An empirical study of the nature of the disconnect between faith and praxis:  An examination of the sexual moral teaching of the Catholic Church in light of those electing to marry in the Catholic Tradition” has been published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.  She is the co-founder of the ‘Theology Of the Body Network UK’, an initiative that was launched in launched September 2020.  The aim of the TOB Network UK is to connect all those interested in studying Theology of the Body/Magisterial teaching on marriage and sexuality.  The Network has run several retreats and talks since its inception and has a data base of over 240 members from across the UK.  Christine has given talks in many parishes, at Youth 2000, New Dawn and at Fisher House at Cambridge University.

Theodore House offers a wonderful venue for any residential course. The tranquil and beautiful surroundings of the Stonyhurst estate offer a peaceful setting with endless opportunities for walks. Guests will enjoy the comfortable recreational spaces and a beautifully lanscaped garden.

For more information about Theodore House, please click here.

  • Arrivals from 5pm (Friday)
  • Retreat commences with evening prayer at 6:45pm and dinner at 7pm
  • Departures from 3:30pm on Sunday

Residential: £330 per couple (includes en-suite twin room and full board*)

Non-residential: £190 per couple (includes lunch and dinner*)

*from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch inclusive.

If you would like to attend as a single person or as a non-married couple, please contact us for availability and pricing.

A limited number of bursaries are available for. Please contact us for further information.


“I feel like I have learnt so much and opened my heart and mind to the Church.”

Please register below (includes £50 p.p. deposit payment):