It has been a magical weekend for our family as we travelled to Aldeburgh in Suffolk for a special wedding. Matthew Jarvis, whose family are very close to mine, got married to his gorgeous bride, Victoria. We joined them on Friday, for a lovely evening meal at the Lighthouse restaurant, following the rehearsal in church.
The ceremony was performed at the Catholic Church in Aldeburgh, where I also concelebrated Mass on Sunday. The parish priest, Father Tony, could not have been more helpful and welcoming; stepping aside on Saturday, enabling me to officiate, whilst he served as registrar. The church is pretty with a magnificent reredos and made a perfect setting for the service.
Victoria, who handed in a masters dissertation just this week in anticipation of embarking on a second PHD, is a German lutheran. And it was wonderful to welcome her family from Germany for the wedding. To show the uniting of two families and traditions we had one reading in English and the next in German. The couple also made the vows twice- once in each other’s native tongue.
Matthew’s parents, Michael and Sheila, will be well known to many at St. Anselm’s as they are regular visitors to our parish and have joined us on pilgrimage. In fact both belong to our Ordinariate group in Pembury despite worshipping regularly, for practical reasons, at the Catholic Cathedral in Brentwood close to where they live.
Shiela is especially close to Jemima. Little wonder- she is her godmother! A most generous and indulgent one, truth be told. Indeed the beautiful dress Jemima wore was just one of many financed by ‘Auntie Shiela’ and I am sure readers will agree they both looked delightful.
Of course Hayley also looked radiant, pictured here at 12th Century Butley Priory where the reception was held. Even the Tomlinson boys scrubbed up well, after I swapped clericals for jacket and tie, having got over warm in all the vestments at the wedding! Benny also needed a change of clothes, splitting his trousers spectacularly whilst playing football with his brother.
It was a lovely venue for a party with coaches shuttling guests back and forth from Aldeburgh. I enjoyed it so much that I took the last coach at 1:30am which made Sunday a time for gentle voices only. Shame that I was sharing accommodation with my sons who always wake up before 6am!
I am not one to cry at weddings but admit to shedding a tear when Matthew’s brother, David, who has special needs and was the best man, delivered an amazing and uplifting speech. In it he declared his love for his brother and sister in law from the heart. David and I regularly lunch together and I meant it when I told him that he did a fantastic job.
Of your goodness pray for Matthew and Victoria this week as they begin their married life together. This week it is back to normality in Pembury but with some amazing memories of a very happy event.