Vicar conducts anniversary service through a window

Leaning out through an open window as their rector stood in the front garden and their granddaughter looked on from a distance, was not quite the celebration Mary and Chris Young from Bath had anticipated for their 60th wedding anniversary. But in the lockdown world of the coronavirus, nothing is quite as it should be, or quite as we’d planned it.

Instead of their intended service inside St Stephen’s church, surrounded by family and friends, Mary and Chris’s celebration was limited to just two people; Revd Philip Hawthorn and their granddaughter. Coronavirus restrictions meant they had to be outside the building standing two meters away from the couple and each other.

Lockdown peculiarities aside, Revd Philip said it was a very happy occasion. He conducted the service as the couple stood by the open window of their sitting room. Their granddaughter, Imogen, who’d cycled from Bristol to be with them, filmed the event on her phone. Mary and Chris have family all over the world, and Imogen’s video of the service will be shared with them.

Revd Philip says, “The service was both a celebration of their long and happy marriage, and a remembering of their original vows. The reading was Psalm 23, which they had at their wedding. And the champagne was delicious.”

Mary and Chris plan to hold a big celebration at some point in the future when restrictions are lifted.

Revd Philip has been doing lots of things differently during lockdown. He had been regularly leading an assembly for key workers’ children at the school over his garden fence and has launched Scruffy TV, using experience from his earlier career in TV which saw him help bring the Tweenies and other #Cbeebies classics to life! Find him on his YouTube channel.

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