Sunday, 29 November 2015

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Mass marriage vow renewal ceremony at Cumbrian church

They're a bit early for Valentine’s Day, but these married couples have grasped the spirit of the season of romance and vowed to love and honour each other all over again.

Marriage vows photo
Couples taking part, from left, John and Jo Billett, Mark and Becci Hull with daughter Daisy, Cathy and Alan Egglestone, James and Denise Robinson, Alastair and Allison Lee and Graham and Susie Moss

The church setting was familiar, family were there to share the moment and there was even cake and some celebratory fizz.

But this time the couples were sharing the moment with others as they renewed their marriage vows in a mass ceremony.

The service was held at Wetheral Parish Church, near Carlisle, to mark National Marriage Week, an event backed by the Church and organisations such as the Mother’s Union. It aims to encourage and support couples in their marriages.

The Rev David Craven, the rector of Holme Eden and Wetheral with Warwick on Eden, said: “I wrote to all the couples that have been married in my patch during my time here.

“We extended it out to families and friends as well.

“Some people have returned who were married in this church, others were married elsewhere but have got a connection with the village.

“With some it’s a way of bringing the children in on a very special occasion.

“For others it’s a recognition of 30-plus years of marriage.

“It’s the perfect opportunity before God to say thank you to each other.”

Those taking part donned smart suits and dresses, although traditional wedding dresses were notable by their absence.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Right Rev James Newcome, spoke at the ceremony before the couples were asked to come forward, standing in a horse shoe shape as they renewed their vows. As well as the couples who came forward before the ceremony to take part, others were invited to go up if they wished to renew their vows.

Denise and James Robinson, of Harraby in Carlisle, were among those taking part.

“It’s nice to find your soul mate and be grateful for it,” said Denise.

While Mark and Becci Hull had travelled from Essex to return to her home county. “Becci’s from Wetheral and we got married here in 2010,” said Mark.

Susie and Graham Moss, of Great Corby, have been married for 14 years.

“We love each other very much but life gets in the way sometimes,” said Susie.

“It’s a wonderful chance to stop and think, and remember how it was in the beginning.”


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