Church of England Diocese of York Barmston with Fraisthorpe

Richard's article for September's Village Voice

20 Aug 2021, 12:15 a.m.

Last month saw my parents’ Diamond Wedding anniversary. Sixty years, quite an achievement! We had a lovely family get-together in my sister’s garden in Kenilworth, and it was a great chance to catch up with each other, many of whom we hadn’t seen for over 18 months.

Someone jokingly asked my mum once if she wouldn’t rather ditch my dad and start again with someone new. “Oh no,” she replied. “It took long enough to break this one in…” Added to which, they’ve both always taken their marriage vows very seriously. At another family occasion my dad commented that their early years together weren’t always easy and, at times, it was possibly only the promises they’d made to each other that kept the marriage going.

One of the reasons it’s great to have weddings in church (and thank goodness they’re allowed to happen again) is that the vows the couple make remind us of the promises that God makes to us. Just as the couple swear to love, honour and cherish each other, so does God promise to love, honour and cherish us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” he says in Deuteronomy 31: 6. He guards us “as the apple of his eye,” he affirms in the next chapter. And through the prophet Jeremiah he declares, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (31: 3).

Sadly, frail human beings sometimes find themselves unable to keep their wedding vows, for all sorts of reasons. But God is not like us. His promises never fail. Sometimes I have the privilege of hearing the painful stories of break-ups, battles and betrayals. It’s an even greater privilege to be able to point to a God who will never let us down, no matter what we’ve been through or how hurt we’ve been.

Services in Barmston church in September:

Sun 5th at 9.30 am – Holy Communion

Sun 19th at 9.30 am – Holy Communion

Sun 26th at 4.00 pm – TBA

And there is still online worship from our sister church at Emmanuel Bridlington every Sunday, live on Facebook or in person at 11.00 am, or later in the day on our YouTube channel, and on the phone (01262 412525) at any time.