Weddings are wonderful

Jane Coumbe, Revd Canon Simon Bone & Liz Wallace at the Wedding Tent

The Church Stand in the Wedding Tent at The Royal Cornwall Show is not just a great place to go if you’re thinking of getting married, it’s also a peaceful sanctuary in what can be a bewildering  bombardment of must-do’s if the big day is going to be as special as you deserve!

All the other stall holders in the tent love the church stand. It’s been there for years and has become an established go-to place for words of advice, a chat or great cake. Each morning and afternoon the team are supported by a curate or vicar, all of whom recognise the wonderful ministry that surrounds weddings, and all of whom are on hand to gently minister if the need arises.

Jane Coumbe, Lay Worship Leader from Stoke Climsland, said it’s great to have clergy on hand. “Not everyone who walks past is necessarily wanting to get married, some just want to chat. One older gentleman started talking about his own marriage many years ago and how his much-loved wife had just died. He just wanted the chance to talk about her.”

Weddings are opportunities for ministry

Liz Wallace, who is part of the Diocese Welcome team, explained how preparation for marriage, and therefore opportunities for ministry, can start way before the decision to get married is even on the horizon. “One couple said they wanted to run away as the idea of a big wedding and all the things they had to do was too hard to contemplate, so we suggested a church blessing which they hadn’t thought of.”

What many couples might not realise is that if you take a wedding out of a church, there is no place in the service whatsoever for religious expression. “Not even Hymns!” says Liz. “I think people who are thinking of getting married in church can be fearful, believing they won’t have much control over what goes on, but in many ways they have more choice in church than they do in other venues.”

Revd Canon Simon Bone was quick to agree, “We can even do baptisms at weddings – I’ve presided over a few that have involved a baptism before the register is signed, so that when they all leave together they really feel united and in it together. I’ve also had pets at services, dogs bearing the rings, all sorts! It’s great fun. Weddings are wonderful!”

“Weddings are wonderful” is a sentiment that chimes at the wedding tent, not because they are a business opportunity, but the chance to show God’s love and tenderness for the couple, their families and their friends. And Jesus clearly agrees – he not only chose a wedding to perform his first public miracle, but he turned water into the finest wine that anyone had tasted.

If you have any questions on weddings, do contact Liz here