St John’s had a tremendous day on Saturday past as two of its church members  were married. They were both people from Lawley Village (which is on the west side of Telford) and whose families had been part of the village for many years. It was a day of lovely weather and there was a lovely atmosphere in St John’s  right from the start. I felt it was a privilege and a blessing to be able to conduct the ceremony.

St John’s is quite a popular church for weddings, and now we are truly into wedding season. Normally we have 10-12 a year. Of course, for some churches, this is only a tiny amount, as I’ve heard of Anglican churches with many many more a year and a few on the same day.

I enjoy meeting the couples. The couple have already booked through a ‘wedding desk’ run jointly by the Telford Churches,which takes place every Wednesday evening at 6pm. Normally the couples and I meet up about 6 weeks or so before the big day to begin talking through the service and what they would like to happen. We don’t only talk about music, but the Church of England service does give a few different options eg for vows, for the prayer over the rings, the introductory words (preface), and of course there are loads of different Bible readings which are suggested. I think it is important that couple get as much choice as they can. I also ask if there are any particular things we can pray for them as a couple within the service.  When we meet, I normally pass on some marriage preparation – which is about communication and means of showing love (‘love languages’ as used in the Marriage Course established by Nicky and Sila Lee, and written about by Gary Chapman in his book ‘The Five Love Languages’). As someone said, a minister is to do both wedding preparation and marriage preparations…

Then we meet one more time to chat through any issues in the service which we hadn’t clarified at the first time we met, as well as check nothing has changed! The rehearsal I suggest a couple of days before ideally as I think it is good to have that night before the big day off to be with family or just the two of them… Every wedding is special and it is great meeting the couples and helping them plan the service, and prep them a little for marriage. I often remember our own – Jolanda and me – wedding, and it will be 4 years next month! Good stuff!

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