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A form of blessing for ‘living apart together’?

by
08 May 2015

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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

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