The course is facilitated by Brian and Francoise Robertson.
It is based on the Alpha Marriage course designed by Nicky and Sila Lee:
“The marriage relationship is designed by God to be an adventure of love that lasts a lifetime, but marriage is under attack in our society. Many feel it is an outdated institution, and the number of marriages per year is falling in many countries. Those who do get married find it increasingly difficult to stay married. There has been an alarming rise in the divorce rate. What is the answer to all this? Why should we get married? How can we stay married?
In the Alpha Marriage course, Nicky and Sila Lee answer these questions, showing us the value and potential of any marriage. They suggest how we can not only stay married, but also make the most of our married lives together” (Excerpt from The Marriage Book, by Nicky and Sila Lee, Alpha International Publications, London 2002)
The Marriage Course is very practical, giving any married couple the tools to build a strong and healthy marriage that lasts a lifetime.
Over seven evenings partners talk to each other about important issues that can get swept under the carpet in the rush of daily life.
Privacy as a couple is always respected. There is no group discussion and no requirement to disclose anything about your relationship to anyone else.
Who Is It For?
The programme (both events) is open to couples from deanery parishes, as well as from the community. We are hoping that many couples attending the dinner will decide to participate in the marriage course.
- Those who want to enhance their marriage
- Those in the first five years of marriage
- Those at a challenging stage in their marriage, e.g. the birth of a child, a career change, teenagers, the empty nest
- Those struggling with issues in their marriage
What Is The Cost?
The cost is approx R850 per couple for the whole course, of which approx R250 must be paid in the first session. This includes 2 manuals, and dinner and refreshments each evening
Topics For The Seven Evenings
- Building Strong Foundations
- The Art of Communication
- Resolving Conflict
- The Power of Forgiveness
- Parents and In-Laws
- Good Sex
- Love in Action
About Francoise and Brian Robertson
We have 3 married daughters and 6 grandchildren all living in Cape Town. We have been part of the Constantia Parish from its beginning, in the early 70s, and have both served on the Parish council.
I, Francoise (Fran), taught Catechism from home to our children, together with children from the Parish, for many years. Brian and I ran a weekly youth group together for 4 years, with about 15 to 20 youths, which included weekends away with the group.
We were asked by Catholic Welfare Development to put together a course for Carers for the Archdiocese, and we ran this course in most parishes over the years. Later, I started a parish Care Group, which meets once a month, and deals with caring in the parish. I am a Registered Nurse, and later trained as a marriage Counselor with Famsa. Over the years, with Fr David, one of our past priests, I prepared couples in our Parish for marriage.
I, Brian, am a psychiatrist, my primary area of work being with children and adolescents. Sixteen years ago Fran and I started the Friends of Valkenberg Hospital, which Fran still runs. Now retired from full-time university practice, I am involved with a number of community projects, as well as doing regular work overseas in Ireland and St Helena.
Marriage Enrichment Courses at Constantia
In May and June 2008 the first Marriage Enrichment course was organised by Brian and Francoise Robertson. Six couples attended from the parish.
Brian and Fran ran a second Marriage Enrichment course, starting in September 2009. This was a joint venture with St Michael’s parish in Rondebosch. Seven couples attended, three of them coming from St Michael’s parish. Two of the St Michael’s couples attended the course with a view to leading courses in their own parish.
Run under auspices of Alpha South Africa, the progamme this year consisted of two separate events: The campaign kicked off with a Valentine’s Dinner on Friday, 11 February at Schoenstatt Training Centre. 54 people attended this event. It was followed by an Alpha Marriage Enrichment Course at the Centre. Fifteen couples, half of whom are from our parish, completed the seven-week course from 15 February to 29 March. Feedback from participants was very positive.
In grateful appreciation: Brian and Francoise wish to thank Rene Esson and her ‘army’ of volunteers for their regular attendance and wonderful spirit of service. Thanks also to several generous donors, in particular, Fr Andrew, one of our past priests.
What People Have Said
“really enjoyed it. Would definitely recommend it”
“I thought it was excellent”
Q: What were the most important things you learnt on the course?
A: To listen to my partner's point of view and empathize before stating my case
Q: What did you enjoy most about the course?
A: The time spent together discussing and doing the exercises
Q: Was the course useful?
A: Yes, especially spending quality time together
Q: In what ways has the course helped and improved your marriage?
A: It has helped us communicate, value and respect each other more
Watch for announcements in the parish bulletin and this website, or contact Brian and Francoise Robertson at 021 794 5527, or firstname.lastname@example.org.