Saturday, 31 July 2010


At St Andrew's Church, Jarrom Street, for the wedding of Elizabeth Wayne and Rev Alan Hawker.

Elizabeth is Head of Religious Education at Soar Valley College, long-standing member of Leicester Council of Faiths and a mainstay of Leicester SACRE. She's been very supportive of me in my post and was particularly helpful when I was writing the series of leaflets on each of our member faith communities and putting together my first training presentations. Her dress is very distinctive, having a lovely Pre-Raphaelite look about it.

I'm here with Harry and Grace and there's a good turnout of members of the Council of Faiths (about a dozen of us I'd say, from a variety of religious backgrounds). The three of us arrive early (very early by Ballerntyne standards, with more than ten minutes to spare before the start time of twelve noon) but there's standing room only, in what is a pretty big church. The service is conducted by Canon Barry Naylor (afterwards I tell the ubiquitous Barry that I'm beginning to believe there's more than one of him ).

I've never been to a Church of England wedding ceremony before - and St Andrew's seems very High Church. There's something in the service that I've not heard before: after the bride and groom have exchanged vows, the congregation is asked, "Will you, the families and friends of Alan and Elizabeth, support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?" to which we all respond "We will!" If that's normal in a Church of England wedding ceremony, then how nice; and if it isn't - then how nice!

It's such a pleasant afternoon and the kids have a lovely time too. I'm grateful to Elizabeth and Alan for inviting us to share in their special day.

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