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Disco-dancing vicar becomes web sensation

28 June 2013

A PRIEST rounded off a traditional wedding ceremony in her church by initiating a flash-mob dance.

Moments after pronouncing Gary and Tracy Richardson husband and wife, in St Mary and St Martin, in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, the Vicar, the Revd Kate Bottley, launched into a routine to "Everybody Dance Now", by C+C Music Factory. The bride and groom joined in with synchronised moves, and soon most of the 100-strong congregation were moving, too.

A three-minute video of the dance has gone viral on the internet. By midweek, it had received almost 300,000 hits, and topped the BBC's most-viewed-clip list.

Mrs Bottley said that the idea had come up in conversation with the couple as they planned the service, eight weeks before the ceremony on 15 June. She said: "I asked them if there was anything special they wanted to include, and Tracy joked that they should have a flash-mob in the middle of the ceremony. I said 'Why not?' and it went from there.

"The Church believes passionately in marriage and its importance, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be some room for fun.

"They rehearsed their moves for eight weeks, and sent me a video of what they were doing so I could get my part right. I think about 30 of their guests were in on it, too, but, as you can see from the video, it soon caught on. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, and there was a huge round of applause after.

"Two elderly women did walk out in the middle, but Tracy assures me it was just her Auntie Eileen taking Aunt Betty to the loo."

Mrs Bottley said reaction to the routine had generally been good. "The Bishop congratulated me, and the Lord Lieutenant sent me a message saying: 'Well done girl'.

"There has been some adverse comment, but, hey, David danced naked before the Lord - at least I didn't do that. My daughter Ruby, who is 11, was not too impressed. After all, what's worse than your dad dancing at a party? Yes - it's your mum. 

"This was a couple who did not come to church, and had no ties to the parish, but wanted a traditional wedding. To qualify, they came and worshipped with us for six months. They liked what they found, and now they are regular members of the congregation. The Church of England has a reputation of being a bit grumpy, but that's not what we want."

Mrs Richardson is quoted as saying: "As soon as we met Kate, we knew she was exactly the type of vicar we wanted to marry us. She was amazing."

Leader comment

Question of the Week: Was this the right way to celebrate a marriage?


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