We had many reasons for great joy to conduct Oliver and Rebecca’s marriage service at Little Newsham Chapel on Saturday 26 June 2021: This was my first wedding in this beautiful chapel, which had been renovated to encourage resumption of worship and to bless. As Little Newsham Chapel is a private place of worship, we had to obtain the Archbishop’s Special Licence to enable weddings to be conducted here.
Originally planned for May 2021 but disrupted by the pandemic, this is the first wedding service conducted in the Parish of Winston since the covid-19 pandemic began. This is also the first wedding complying to a new national registration system commenced in May 2021.
I had chosen for Oliver and Rebecca a passage from Genesis 2 because as a couple, they reflect God’s intention from the very beginning of his creation. They are grounded and hands-on; Oliver (a farmer) cares for livestock and things of the earth and Rebecca (a nurse) cares for the well-being of her patients, and both of them love their families, friends, livestock, and one another.
In my message I told them and the intimate congregation of closest friends and family, that “the power that describes God’s intention at creation is the power of love: to care, be attentive and aware; to enjoy and to attend to all that is around you”. I hoped that their special occasion would be the start of a deeper and lasting awareness of God and decision to entrust one another to God’s love. I implored them not to side-line God in their relationship, in the gift of marriage that flourishes with kindness, generosity, and enjoyment of one another.
These young newlyweds reflect the continuity of legacy so valued in our parish, and all celebrate God’s blessings over their lives from generation to generation. The couple chose many traditional features in their service: The Bridal March from Wagner’s Tannhauser to begin and Mendelsohnn’s Wedding March at the end; the bride’s father Neil Pearson gave her away to be married to Oliver; and both bride and groom gave and received rings.
The bridal party was almost 30 minutes late (traditional but not advised in present times). The bride beautifully resplendent in her white gown carrying an oversized spray of summer dusty pink and white flowers, walked down the aisle on her father’s arm, followed a Maid of Honour (her sister Lauren Pearson) and 3 other bridesmaids, while the Groom’s best man (best friend Alexander Pressley) was assisted by a young ring bearer (Ronny Raper – the groom’s nephew) and 3 groomsmen.
Any comments from the happy couple? Just “Thank you”!
– Eileen (Rev’d Eileen Harrop, Rector/Priest in Charge, Winston)