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05 May 2011

Bank holiday round up

Bank holiday round up

Royal wedding events held over the weekend proved to be a great success as churches, Christian organisations and households celebrated the royal wedding last weekend.

There was a raft of reporting on every aspect of the wedding imaginable together with the religious elements of the day, including The Times blog featuring Alliance churches in mission director Krish Kandiah and his user guide to the royal wedding service.

In The Telegraph Archbishop of York John Sentamu celebrated the service and the institution of marriage. In his comment in The Guardian, Dr Jonathan Chaplin wrote that the religious aspect of the wedding had largely been missed out in the wider press.
According to the BBC, 24.5 million people watched the royal wedding on the BBC or ITV and its royal wedding live web pages had nine million views.

Alliance member the Girls Brigade (GB) had been given an invitation by royal appointment to watch the wedding procession from a designated youth area on Horse Guards Parade with nearly 250 young members travelling from across the country.   

After the wedding procession they were then able to walk up The Mall with members of the Boys' Brigade, Scouts and Brownies. GB's events co-ordinator Nikki Griffin said: "It was a fabulous day and everyone who attended will agree there was a fantastic atmosphere - we have many memories to treasure."

Church and community events also proved a success with St Andrews's Church in Cullompton not only seeing more than 60 couples standing together to renew their vows, but also an impromptu wedding proposal from an audience member.

Rita Radford from Cullumpton was part of the 60-strong group of people renewing her vows with her husband Steve of 22 years: "We married in a register office so as committed Christians it was really lovely to be able to renew our vows in a church before God," she said. "My faith is important and this meant a great deal."

Edward Hobbs, the vicar of St Andrew's who was interviewed on Premier Radio and Hope Together website about the service, commented: "We really were able to be at the heart of the community and build connections with our friends and neighbours, sharing the love of God with them. It was lovely to be able to welcome a number of couples who have not visited us before, to celebrate this special weekend."

Churches held street parties and local events with St Matthews Church in Stretford, Trafford holding an afternoon tea for the community. Featured on a gallery on events on BBC Manchester, priest in charge Reverend Kate Burgess said: "We try to make sure that every couple getting married here feels as important as William and Kate."

In Gloucestershire, vicar Canon Paul Williams climbed the tower of the Tewkesbury Abbey with town mayor Geoff Pope to congratulate the royal couple on behalf of the town and in St Mary's Attleborough, Norfolk, congregation and community watched the wedding inside the church.