BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

14 October 2014
In Pictures (image: camera lens)Religion & EthicsIn pictures

BBC Homepage
Religion Homepage

Contact Us

Sunday Worship wedding

Zoë and her father arriving at St Andrew's Church, Rugby

A first for radio
BBC Radio 4's Sunday Worship, airing on 31 August 2008, is a landmark in BBC radio and television broadcasting history. It is the first time a non-royal wedding has been broadcast in its entirety on a national network.

As Zoë Rawcliffe arrived with her father at St Andrew's Church, Rugby earlier in the month for her special day, the Sunday Worship microphones were there to record the happy occasion.

All photos courtesy of Steve Causon

Steve and Zoë enjoying 'Jerusalem'

Wedding music
Steve Bell and Zoë Rawcliffe chose traditional and well-loved music for their wedding. Their hymns included And did those feet in ancient time set to the rousing tune Jerusalem, Lord of all hopefulness and All things bright and beautiful. With Steve being a champion salsa-dancer, it was perhaps particularly apt for them to choose the hymn Lord of the Dance.

Usually the couple will speak beforehand to the priest about which hymns and prayers they want on the day.

The Revd Mark Beach led the wedding service

The Rector
The service was led by the rector of St Andrew's Church, Rugby, The Revd Mark Beach. In his address, he talked about marriage being the transformation of two people through faith, friendship and love.

A Church of England wedding follows a fairly uniform order. To begin with, the priest welcomes the congregation and then reads out what Christians believe in marriage. The bride and groom make their declarations - promises in front of God that they will love, comfort, honour and protect each other as long as they both shall live.

Steve and Zoë listen intently

Steve and Zoë listen intently
Having discovered the church late one evening through its outreach to nightclubbers, Steve and Zoë have now become regular worshippers at St Andrew's Church, Rugby - though perhaps this was the first time they'd sat in these particular chairs!

If the couple has attended a church for six months, they can marry there. Recent changes in Church of England rules have also made it easier for a couple to marry in a parish other than their own, as long as there is a family or other special connection.

The sunshine lit the church as Steve and Zoë said their vows and exchanged rings

Vows and rings
The sunshine lit the church as Steve and Zoë made their vows and exchanged rings.

The traditional vows are: "to have and to hold, from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part." Many couples now write their own vows.

The traditional words during the exchange of rings are: "With my body I honour you, all that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you, within the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit."


Kiss the bride
Congratulations! Rapturous applause and cheers greeted the newly married couple as they celebrated with a kiss.

Kneeling during the prayers

Kneeling during the prayers
"Eternal God, send upon them the gift of your love that puts no limit to its faith and forbearance. Sow in their lives the joy that comes from sharing and grows with giving."

There are readings from the Bible and the minister gives a sermon, followed by prayers for the couple. These may include a prayer for the gift of children, but that one is optional...

Signing the register

Signing the register
During the signing of the register, the choir sang the hymn Make me a channel of  your peace, a setting of words attributed to St Francis of Assisi.

The register is the legal side of the marriage. The bride and groom, along with two witnesses, sign the register and receive a legally binding marriage certificate.

With the service over, Mr and Mrs Bell left the church

Leaving the church
With the service complete, the new Mr and Mrs Bell left the church to the stirring sounds of Mendelssohn's Wedding March.

Celebrations with family and friends

Celebrations with family and friends
Smiles and laughter. Like many other weddings this summer, the joyous celebrations continued after the service with family and friends.

Other galleries »

Send us your feedback

If you have enjoyed a gallery, or have an idea for a gallery you would like to see, please email us with your feedback.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy