Broken Rites marks 40 years of support for ex-spouses of clergy

Broken Rites, a support group for divorced and separated clergy spouses and partners, marked the 40th anniversary of its founding on 10 June.

Despite significant social changes over four decades, its work shows no signs of being made redundant.

The trigger for its establishment in 1983 had been a letter to the church press from Frank Field MP, with an invitation to this previously overlooked community to tell him their experiences.

The response to his subsequent questionnaire exposed what a founding member, Gillian Murray, said had been “an almost total lack of responsibility by the Church of England for us wives. No provision for housing, financial help, children — we were in fact swept under the carpet.”

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