Sir Paul Coleridge, founder and chairman of The Marriage Foundation, received the Family Values Award from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) at a celebratory event held at the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament on December 11.
Previous award recipients have comprised UK cabinet ministers, people of influence in the third sector and senior faith leaders. They include government family poverty adviser Rt Hon Frank Field, MP, Edmund Adamus, Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster’s Director of Pastoral Affairs, Baroness Scotland, formerly Attorney General for England and Wales, and Rt Hon Paul Boateng, MP (now Lord Boateng), formerly Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Accompanied by Lady Coleridge, Sir Paul was recognized for his outstanding commitment to promote and strengthen marriage and family life across the UK. He was commended “for his remarkable work in support of the family”.
On receiving the award, Sir Paul said that he was accepting it on behalf of the Marriage Foundation and felt it “extremely encouraging” to have outside support from other groups such as the Church.
“We need to support this great institution that’s falling down”, Sir Paul declared. “Our driving motivation is to do something because of the effect of family breakdown on children, whose lives are completely blighted by having to experience the horror of such breakdown.”
Describing cohabitation as “inherently an unstable social arrangement”, he added that “our big aim is to increase the rate of marriage and to reduce the rate of divorce.”
The Mormon faith in the UK presents Family Values Awards annually to individuals in the public eye whose work and influence have a significant impact on family life within UK society.
David Rutley, MP (from Macclesfield) hosted the luncheon at the House of Commons.