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Doing what father does

21 November 2007

by Margaret Duggan

REBECCA, aged seven, insists that she does not intend to become a priest like her father, the Revd Alex Pye, but she was the only one to put her hand up and volunteer for the role of “Vicar” when Class 2 of Llanfoist Primary School in Monmouth diocese was proposing to stage a mock wedding.

“I was quite touched,” says Mr Pye. The class was having lessons on Christian festivals, and weddings had become the subject. Mr Pye, the Rector of Llanfoist (and two other churches), suggested that they hold a wedding in the church, and that every child in the class of 15 play a role such as parent, usher, or bridesmaid.

They all dressed up for their parts. Rebecca wore a clerical shirt of her father’s, pinned at the back and with an adjusted collar, under a choir alb, with Mr Pye’s visiting stole (above). She greeted the happy couple at the door, announced the hymns, and took the couple through adapted vows.

It was a very good opportunity for teaching about marriage, says Mr Pye, although, as always when talking to children who have different family backgrounds, he had to pick his words carefully. But it was “a very jolly day, and children learn best when they are play-acting.”

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