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Rector to give away daughter in first city centre church wedding post lockdown

PUBLISHED: 17:53 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:53 15 July 2020

Rev'd Dr Richard James with his daughter Rebecca who is due to get married at The Holy Trinity church in Norwich at the weekend.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

Rev'd Dr Richard James with his daughter Rebecca who is due to get married at The Holy Trinity church in Norwich at the weekend. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

A rector will be giving away his daughter in what will be the first wedding at his church since lockdown.

Rev'd Dr Richard James with his daughter Rebecca who is due to get married at The Holy Trinity church in Norwich at the weekend.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Rev'd Dr Richard James with his daughter Rebecca who is due to get married at The Holy Trinity church in Norwich at the weekend. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

The Rev Dr Richard James, rector of Holy Trinity Church on Essex Street, off Unthank Road, Norwich, is excited to be playing the key role in the nuptials between his youngest daughter Rebecca and fiancé Josh Day, on Saturday, July 18.

Rev'd Dr Richard James and his wife Carole with their daughter Rebecca who is due to get married at The Holy Trinity church in Norwich at the weekend.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Rev'd Dr Richard James and his wife Carole with their daughter Rebecca who is due to get married at The Holy Trinity church in Norwich at the weekend. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Newly-qualified secondary school teachers Miss James, 21, and Mr Day, 23, from Harrogate, were meant to marry at Holy Trinity Church on July 4 in front of 150 friends and family who would sing hymns together.

Rev'd Dr Richard James with his daughter Rebecca who is due to get married at The Holy Trinity church in Norwich at the weekend.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Rev'd Dr Richard James with his daughter Rebecca who is due to get married at The Holy Trinity church in Norwich at the weekend. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

The nuptials would have been followed by a reception at Norwich School refectory with a three-course meal and ceilidh.

Rebecca James and Josh Day after gettng engaged in October 2019. Picture: Reverend Dr Richard JamesRebecca James and Josh Day after gettng engaged in October 2019. Picture: Reverend Dr Richard James

Instead the wedding will be in front of around 25 people, who are unable to sing, and the reception will be in a friend’s garden where they will enjoy a takeaway afternoon tea.

MORE: First couple married in Norwich cathedral since lockdown enjoy ‘beautiful’ ceremony

Miss James, who met her fiancé at the University of Leeds and got engaged in October 2019, said: “We were going to have a big ceremony. We have lots of mutual friends from university. Marriage is very special for us.”

She added it was important for them, as practising Christians, to say their vows in church.

The 21-year-old said, despite close friends and some loved ones not being able to be at the wedding physically, it gave her comfort they would be watching through a live stream.

MORE: Holy Trinity Church’s incoming rector Dr Richard James returns to his roots in Norwich

The couple found out about the government’s change in wedding rules after meeting on Mablethorpe beach, Lincolnshire, after lockdown stopped them seeing each other.

“I’m quite excited. There was a lot of uncertainty for a long time after lockdown was announced. 30 people was more people than we expected we could have. We thought we would only be allowed five to 10 people.

“Our wedding day will be special in a different way. We will be able to spend more time with family and friends,” Miss James added.

Her father, who discovered Jesus aged 18 at Holy Trinity Church through a youth group, said the weekend was a “double joy” as the church would be holding its first evening service on July 19.

Dr James, 54, had to think creatively in terms of laying out the wedding chairs in a socially distant way to make the occasion feel natural.

He added the nuptials would be “more intimate”.

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