From the Revd David R. Hill
Sir, - Until recently, I understood the word "lats" to refer to
the smelly hole in the ground at Scout camp. But I'm told it now
stands for "living apart together", a form of relationship not
unknown within our congregations.
It refers to couples or partners who share a committed, close
relationship, but who do not marry, and who choose to remain living
in their own respective homes.
Young engaged couples fall in this category, but for people of
retirement age such an arrangement makes sense and is becoming
increasingly common. For the sons and daughters of older widows and
widowers, such an arrangement seems to make for happier
inter-generational relationships, and avoids the problems that can
arise with the estate when one partner dies.
It also helps for two people to have their own space. But the
couple do normally promise to care for each other when disability
or illness takes hold. It surely makes for an enrichment of life in
the third age.
The question arises: should the Church make provision for some
form of blessing for these "lats"? And could this be done without
seeming to undermine marriage?
DAVID R. HILL
24 London Road, Spalding
Lincolnshire PE11 2TA