THE world record for the number of couples renewing their
wedding vows at the same time has been broken by the Big Promise
campaign, organised to mark National Marriage week, which ends
More than 1400 couples in 70 venues across the UK joined the
challenge on Saturday, beating the previous record of 1089 couples
in Ohio, in the United States, in 2009.
The results of the Big Promise campaign are still being
scrutinised by judges from Guinness World Records. But the
co-ordinator of the campaign, Dave Percival, said that the number
of couples taking part sent a strong message to society.
"The vows are the essential part of being married - not the
fancy wedding, amazing reception, or exotic honeymoon. Marriage
matters to every one of these couples, and should matter to all of
us in society as the bedrock of stable family life."
The golden wedding anniversary of Tom and Doreen Shaw, from
Sheffield, coincided with the record attempt, and they celebrated
their 50 years together by reaffirming their vows. "We were
thrilled to remind each other of the promises we made to each other
50 years to the day that we first said them," Mr Shaw said.
"This has been such a special day, as we have celebrated our
commitment to each other with our family and friends. It has been
quite moving to look back on how we have been blessed and
challenged throughout our life together. And after 50 years, it's
not over yet."
The Bishop of Sherwood, the Rt Revd Tony Porter, renewed his
vows with his wife, Lucille, in a church in East Leake,
"This year, Lucille and I will be celebrating 40 years of
marriage. We believe that with fidelity, faith, and fun, nothing
can compare with a happy marriage."
At Sunderland Minster, a curate, the Revd Fiona Collin, joined
20 other couples to renew her marriage vows. Alongside her were
Graeme and Hollie Jobes, from Ashbrooke, in Sunderland.
Mr Jobes said: "We have been married seven years, and we wanted
to reaffirm our vows where we regularly come for worship, and
because we originally married in New York, at a civil ceremony,
which was great - but we felt we wanted to make our vows
"I'm a very lucky man, and Hollie has been the core that has
kept me going through some tough times. What a great way to
celebrate our marriage and all it means to us."
The Big Promise campaign is supported by the Church of England
and Christian groups that include Care, the Mothers' Union, and the
Churches and cathedrals were also holding special events for St
Valentine's Day today. Exeter Cathedral and Bath Abbey offered
romantic tower tours for two, with champagne at the top. And St
Bride's, Fleet Street, in London, urged couples to sponsor a carved
angel for St Valentine's Day as part of its £2.5-million campaign
to restore the interior of the church.