September the 22nd was a momentous day for Hornchurch Ringing when The Master, Clive Stephenson married fellow ringer Michelle Long.
Festivities began on August 27th with a celebratory peal, and a quarter peal was rung prior to the wedding. Immediately before and after the service the bells were rung by different bands, so that everybody got a chance to join in the occasion. Whilst the weather could have been better, throughout the day the timing and organisation were impeccable.
Michelle, looking stunning, arrived and was escorted down the aisle by her mother, Janice, to Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary, and the wedding was conducted by our vicar, Revd. Barry Hobson, while the organ was played by ringer and priest Phil Denton. Clive’s best man was lifelong friend David Saunders.
During the Signing of the Register handbells were rung by the Loughton Handbell Ringers, conducted by Andrew Barham.
Following the service, a hundred plus ringers, family and friends were entertained in the Church Hall and supplied with copious amounts of sandwiches, cakes, savouries and drinks and photographs were taken in the Church Grounds.
Later the Wedding Breakfast was held at The De Rougemont Manor in nearby Great Warley and attended by about seventy people.
A superb meal was served and Clive and The Best Man made well prepared and witty speeches. Clive alluded to his questionable dancing skills, to be demonstrated later, and told of his unique method of proposal, a note encased in Valentine’s Day chocolate, while David in a traditional Best Man’s speech toasted the Bride and Groom with the various groups present: Family, St Edwards School Alumni, Friends, Ringers and Pharmacists.
Later a disco was set up and dancing continued till after midnight while guests mingled, danced, renewed old acquaintances and generally enjoyed themselves.
Altogether, a splendid day!