On Saturday 26th May last some 180 guests, including many members of the congregation, gathered at chapel to celebrate the wedding of Simon Hall and David Kent.
A jazz quintet including two members of the congregation, George and Huw, played brilliantly after the tea and speeches were over, and before the evening meal.
Not since the General Assembly Meeting of the 1980’s had the chapel been so full, and the balcony occupied. The hymn singing and the choir offerings were marvellous, and our organ was given full-throated expression.
We came away into the warm summer night experiencing the glow of good companionship, shared conversations, and many moments of hilarity. It truly was a day to remember.
The delicious catering for the occasion had been provided by Theresa of The White Swan Sileby. And after the Sunday morning service the next day, I was forced (!) to leave the general clearing up to David and Simon and their friends in order to attend another celebration at another marquee, this time at The White Swan itself.
This event was to mark Theresa’s 35 years as landlady of the pub. During the speeches Theresa spoke about how the original letting agent had been cynical about how long she would last in the position (he said he would give her about six weeks!), and how delighted she would now be to be able to show him how wrong he was. After leasing for a few years, she eventually became the owner, and built a reputation for fine food in the process.
During the afternoon I talked to Theresa’s guests and remarked on the successful wedding celebrations of the day before. I found it wonderful to see how every one of her friends and family that I chatted to (people drawn from hugely disparate professions and occupations and distant parts of the country) were interested in and completely supportive of same sex weddings and of our Unitarian position on them.
Once again the sun shone on the celebrations. Theresa’s catering seemed to link the two occasions. We came home at the end of the weekend full of good food, almost hoarse from having talked so much, and with a sense of the rightness and appropriateness of what both Simon and David and Theresa had each in their own ways achieved.
With good wishes to all members and friends,