Wedding service in tiny Broadland chapel
2016: A couple from Peasenhall have said their wedding vows in an Orthodox chapel based in a shed in Sutton, believed to be one of Britain’s smallest churches.
David Boddy and Alice Boddy-Photini were married in a register office 15 years ago, but wanted to seal their union with something more spiritual. The couple from Peasenhall, near Saxmundham, were the first to say their vows at St Fursey’s, a tiny Orthodox chapel, established by Father Stephen Weston in his back garden in 1998.
The couple met when he was a Church of England priest and she was his Reader. Mr Boddy’s final parish before retirement was in Somerleyton although he hails from Sunderland. Between them they have four children and six grandchildren.
24 guests attended the service on Saturday September 24 in the little chapel, which measures just 18ft by 13ft, and it was the first time Father Stephen had presided over the intricate wedding ceremony. At the centre of the ceremony, which differs from the conventional wedding service, were two beautiful crowns sent especially from Bucharest. The service was in two parts featuring first a betrothal and then a crowning ceremony.
Father Stephen said it was a milestone for his little church, one of 20 Antiochian Orthodox Christian parishes in England. He said that Orthodox weddings were “special and exciting” occasions and also “very moving”.
St Furseys now sees congregations of up to 19 on a Saturday, and Father Stephen says he now wants to build a new parish church.
This Saturday – October 1 – will see more excitement when His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan, the first Bishop of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland, right, visits the tiny chapel as part of a tour of all 26 parishes.
Father Weston is pictured above in St Fursey’s – photo courtesy of http://saintfursey.uk/index.html
The image of Bishop Silouan is courtesy of http://www.antiochian-orthodox.co.uk/
This story first appeared in the Eastern Daily Press.
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