From the BBC, in part: Some 650 couples went to mass at the Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral on Saturday to celebrate the 43,000 years of experience of marriage they have between them.
Several first made their vows more than 60 years ago. But there was a more sombre purpose behind the event, organised by the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. He wanted to present an example of enduring marriage in order to warn of the dangers of letting it go. Marriage is at its lowest level since records began, and people are getting divorced earlier.About 40% of marriages now end in divorce, with the result that almost a quarter of children have experienced family break-up by the time they are 16.
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor describes it as a time-bomb threatening the integrity of British society. Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor says marriage breakdown 'is one of the greatest evils' "The effects of the break up of marriage can be seen because of drugs and crime," he says. "So many people are in prison...as the result of broken marriages. And it's a time bomb because the effects are insidious. It's starting now with divorce but its effects will go on and on."