A-z Wedding And Refugees' Welcome In York

A week-end in York, Britain's friendly city encompassed by Roman walls with the Minster as its heart. It was my privilege to conduct the marriage of James, who was born in Australia, to Rebecca, who was born in Zimbabwe - hence the A-Z wedding, with both families coming together at St. Michael Le Belfrey Church where the bridal couple worshipped when they lived in York. I like this church. It has three or four congregations. It sponsors many Alpha courses, not at the church, but on student campuses. It hires a centre where it runs activities for unchurched youth. The church is in the shadow of the Minster, in whose Deanery Garden the photographs were taken. One of the grooms, Tom, is a full time worker and music leader there. They took such care with the legal and office details too.

I first met James in Adelaide., before he cut his hair and when he was known as Jimbo - part of Brad Bessell's Metal Band. I met Rebecca's parents a year or so back. They are friends of some of our Aidan and Hilda Group in Harare. We enjoyed a marvellous reception in the historic Merchant Taylors Hall.

I arrived early, amid a big demonstration in favour of welcoming refugees. The Minster had a huge banner 'We Welcome Refugees' . Its Dean, Vivienne Faull, has offered to take a refugee family into her home. Two people told me they would also.

I used the Minster library to learn about this city at the time of Saint Aidan, and I went to the state-of-the-arts Jorvik Centre, which explains how Vikings developed this city. My B&B was within walking distance of the city centre. More people said hello to me in York, sober or otherwise, than in any other place I can recall.

Posted at 08:52am on 17th September 2015
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