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Church celebration as couples collectively renew wedding vows

“Successful marriage is an edifice which must be rebuilt everyday.”

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev'd James Newcome, joins Rev'd David Craven and the couples at Wetheral Church who collectively renewed their wedding vowsThat was the message from the the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev'd James Newcome, during a special ceremony at which six couples renewed their wedding vows.

The service at Wetheral Parish Church yesterday (Saturday 8 February) was part of the  National Marriage Week celebrations and was organised by the Rector of the church, the Rev’d David Craven.
Bishop James said: “As a bishop, I don't do many weddings these days and I always love it when I lead those services.

“The renewal of vows is one of the most important things that can happen in a couple's life together.

“To have six couples renew their vows together and for it to form part of the Big Promise celebrations nationwide is something that helps to re-emphasize to society the importance of marriage.

“In these days when fewer people are getting married and when so many marriages are breaking down it's a wonderful reminder of the commitment and love within marriage.”

The special service included the hymns Great Is Thy Faithfulness and Love Divine, All Love Excelling. The reading was taken from 1 Corinthians.

The six couples stood before the chancel steps and, led by Bishop James, all renewed their vows collectively.

Those taking part were Jo and John Billett, Cathy and Alan Egglestone, Becci and Mike Hull, Allison and Alistair Lee, Susie and Graham Moss and Denise and James Robinson.

Allison and Alistair who live in Heads Nook near Carlisle married five and a half years ago.

Allison said: “When we got married a lot of people said 'It doesn't really matter, it's just a piece of paper' but it has made us feel different.

“Marriage has been special for us and we thought this would be a nice opportunity to celebrate marriage in general but also to celebrate our marriage.”

Some of those taking part had been married at Wetheral and all had a connection to the wider benefice of Holme Eden and Wetheral with Warwick.

Mr Craven said: “I thought today was a really important occasion at which we could celebrate with these couples what is an important event in their lives and to  reinforce, publicly, the importance of marriage in society.

“I was thrilled with the service and thought Bishop James was humorous, encouraging and challenging in what he  said. I know the couples who have taken part have all enjoyed it.”

Notes to editors

National Marriage Week runs from 7th to 14th February in 2014.

For more information about National Marriage Week and The Big Promise go to


For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434, 01228 560079 or at

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