On Saturday 12 August, the Rev. Mary Hawes conducted the wedding of Jo Harris and Chris West, a Captain in the Fusiliers.

Here she reflects on the joy of being part of such a happy occasion: “Conducting weddings is a real privilege – there is something incredibly special about being part of a couple’s celebration of love, helping them make their vows and pronouncing them husband and wife.”




Rev. Mary discovered several rituals attached to such a wedding:

  • a bottle of port shared between soldiers and groom before the ceremony
  • the bride’s honour defended by the drawing of swords as I asked the congregation ‘if any of you know any reason in law why these persons may not marry each other’
  • a Guard of Honour under which bride and groom left the church to greet their family and friends (I wasn’t trusted with a sword – so I made do with a bubble wand in my address, raising laughter as I compared the beauty of bubbles with the beauty of love)


Rev. Mary concluded: “The Glorious Twelfth saw a glorious wedding in which St Mary’s shone with floral beauty and musical excellence to mark the start of a young couple’s married life. I love my calling from God which allows me to be part of such special moments.”