At St. Margaret’s Church in the Diocese of Norwich, The Rev Andrew Parsons, invites those couples who have married in his church during the previous year and those due to marry in the coming year, to come to the special annual St Valentine’s Day service on the nearest Sunday.
During the service, married couples have an opportunity to renew their vows and engaged couples pledge in anticipation of their vows. Andrew is a trained Mothers’ Union Loving for Life facilitator who along with his co-facilitators runs Loving for Life workshops for those preparing for marriage in his church. It is moving to see him take his wife’s hand along with all other couples in the church, young and old, newly married and those who’d been together for years. In 2012 one young couple renewed their vows with their three-week old baby in their arms.
After the service, everyone is invited to see the wedding photos of those married at St Margaret’s Church over the past year, projected on high on the arched wall above the altar. Bucks Fizz and wedding cake are served and a gentle chatter fills the pews as couples and congregation members mix. A member explains:
This service and the workshop are all about welcoming couples into the church family, supporting around the time of their wedding and in the years to follow. It’s all about celebrating marriage and building relationships