CELEBRATION OF LOVE, MARRIAGE AND COMMITMENT 20- 20th, 21st & 22nd August.
After several months of meticulous planning and coordination, the success of the recent three-day Celebration of Love, Marriage & Commitment in St Mabyn far exceeded expectations. A steady flow of visitors was enthralled with the massive display of wedding finery, photos, albums, and flowers, which provided the perfect backdrop for the events taking place during the three days of the exhibition.
The highlight of the Celebration was a procession through St Mabyn on Saturday afternoon, the stars of the parade being the beautiful 'bride, Hannah Bate, 8, of St Tudy, and handsome 'groom,' Steven Menhenitt, 11, of St Mabyn. They were transported in a brightly painted cart skilfully prepared by Richard and Carol Bray of St Mabyn, whose perfectly behaved donkey, Paddy, did the honours and pulled the cart.
The wedding procession was led by St Mabyn's very own Village Crier, Tony Dickinson. Tony rang and sang popular wedding songs with gusto during the procession, accompanied by Mark Hawken with his accordion. A mock wedding followed between Hannah and Steven in St Mabyn church conducted by Reverend Margaret Millson, This was a beautifully simple ceremony before a large number of family, friends and well-wishers of the 'happy couple'. Reverend Margaret then presented each 'newlywed' with a bible, which she said she hoped would be used at their weddings when they are grown up.
The 'wedding' was followed by a jumping the broom ceremony in which the broom has both symbolic and spiritual importance. The straw of the broom represent family, the handle represents the Almighty and the ribbon represents the tie that binds the couple together. The broom was beautifully decorated with flowers and ribbons, and remains on display in St Mabyn church.
There was no shortage of volunteers to jump the broom after the wedding ceremony, some of whom had formed a very temporary liaison for this purpose. Indeed, one local lady (she knows who she is) jumped twice - each time with a different partner!
After the 'wedding, the guests enjoyed quite a party when Tony Dickinson led a very lively sing-along of popular wedding songs, accompanied by Les Field on the organ. Everyone wholeheartedly entered into the spirit of the occasion and thoroughly enjoyed a fun filled afternoon, as well as slices of wedding cake.
Rain meant that the Celebration BBQ had to take place in the church, which, surprisingly, proved to be the perfect venue. A good crowd turned up and there was no shortage of willing cooks and waiters to transport the food from the stove outside the porch. Mark Hawken and his Band provided some very lively music and received an enthusiastic reception, which resulted in Reverend Margaret, on the strength of nothing more than a cup of tea, demonstrating a lively jig down the aisles on the arm of a churchwarden!
On Saturday evening, The Wadebridge Male Voice Choir performed a Celebration concert to a large audience and, as always, gave an impeccable and extremely enjoyable performance. Their guest group was 'Take Note,' a very talented ladies choir of eight, who were also very warmly received.
The Celebration ended on Sunday evening with a well-attended Songs of Praise, supported by the Deanery choir. During the evening no less than 15 couples came forward to re-affirm their wedding vows, and the evening ended with wedding cake and wine.
The Celebration was also an opportunity to mark the occasion of the retirement of Reverend Margaret Millson, who will shortly retire from the joint Benefice of St Mabyn, St Tudy and Michaelstow. Her last service in St Mabyn will be the Harvest Festival on Sunday 3rd October at 11am, before she leaves the Rectory at St Tudy the following day with husband, Alan, for their new home in St Cleer.
The organisers, Reverend Margaret Millson, Anthea Lobb, Carole Grigg and Audrey Cooke were delighted at the wonderful contribution made by the friendly and supportive folk of St Mabyn and surrounding areas, who made such a massive contribution to the success of the Celebration. "We were overwhelmed by all the help we received and the willingness of so many people to entrust us with some of their treasured possessions for the exhibition. Those who attended the BBQ and events had a wonderful time and we hope the success of the Celebration will set a precedent for future activities organised to help support St Mabyn's beautiful church."