It seems only five minutes since we received our invitation to attend a celebration of Marriage service at Westminster Cathedral. Yesterday we set off on the 12 o'clock train. I had prepared well, with our invitation and a map of the area. The journey into Kings Cross was easy and the transfer to the underground and trip to Victoria was fine. When we got out of the station, it was mayhem. There were roadworks everywhere and building sites, the area was being redeveloped on a huge scale. My carefully prepared map didn't look anything like the real thing. So it was over to my trusty sat nav on my phone to try and get us to the right place. We set off, walked by the theatre where Wicked was playing, and eventually found the road we wanted. Unfortunately we were at the wrong end of it and had a bit of a trot to get to where we needed to be!! In the end we came across a lovely bar called 'The Brass Monkey' so we stopped there for our lunch and a drink.
When we finally found the Cathedral we realised that you could virtually see it from the station and had we have gone straight on we would have been there in five minutes instead of the 20 that it took us!! We wouldn't have found the bar if we had gone directly there, so every cloud and all that!!!
The Foundation stone of the Cathedral was laid in 1895 and the building was opened in 1903. It is built in the Early Christian Byzantine style by the Victorian Architect John Francis Bentley.
The Cathedral was not like any other I had been in, inside its a strange combination of religious and darkness. There is a lot of marble, but it was the dark grey and black kind which made everything feel generally 'dark'. We found a seat and when the service started I was surprised to learn that there were 600 couples with twenty thousand years of marriage between us all!!!
We were given a commemorative booklet to remember the day. The service was a good combination of service and singing. We were able to renew our vows. It was quite a moving service thinking back to our Wedding nearly 30 years ago! What was more amazing was that it took only five minutes to do communion, which wasn't bad considering there was over a thousand people to serve.
Afterwards we had a cup of tea and chatted to some other people who were there. Not everyone was celebrating big anniversaries the couple in front of us were celebrating their tenth anniversary and they had their beautiful toddler daughter with them, she did very well to survive what was a boring event for her!!
Last week was Beth's last week at school, the five years have gone so fast. All she has left is her exams, so its been even more tear filled emotional times.
Thursday night they had 'leavers Mass' It was so sad, I spent most of it trying to blink back tears and not listen to what was going on. A group of girls from Beth's class sang Lean On Me so beautifully that half the audience was in tears, including the head of year who was sat in front of me. It really only seems like yesterday that we were at the year seven Mass and Beth was taking up her flag from Panshanger school.
I wish Beth all the luck in the world for her exams and I will be pleased once they are over!!!