Marriage Care chairman is awarded papal medal

A papal medal for good service was conferred last month on a Marriage Care local chairman, Sidney McFarlane MBE, in recognition of his voluntary work supporting marriage in Lincolnshire.

Mr McFarlane was presented with the Benemerenti Medal by the Bishop of Nottingham, Malcolm McMahon OP, following Mass at St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham on Sunday, February 13. He was accompanied by his wife, Gwen, along with friends and members of the Lincolnshire Marriage Care centre.

John Laverty, chairman of the Lincolnshire Centre of Marriage Care, said: “We are all delighted that Sidney has been given this award. He has worked tirelessly for Marriage Care for over 15 years, firstly as the local chairman and more recently in his six-year term as the national Chairman of Marriage Care.”

The photograph above shows Mr McFarlane and his wife with Bishop McMahon at the service. The Benemerenti Medal was instituted by Pope Gregory in 1832 and conferred on those who have exhibited long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church.

The word “benemerenti” (meaning to a well deserving person) is engraved on the back of the medal surrounded by a crown of oak leaves. The ribbon is in the papal colours of yellow and white. Lincolnshire Marriage Care is the local centre of Marriage Care, a national charity committed to the life-long support of marriage, relationships and family life through the provision of relationship counselling and marriage preparation courses.