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Grandfathers bring 124 years’ service to wedding

09 October 2015

meg thorpe

Family business: the bridegroom, Jack Tavenor, next to his grandfather, the Revd William Tavenor, and the bride, Rebecca Floate, next to her grandfather, the Revd Herbert Floate, after their wedding

Family business: the bridegroom, Jack Tavenor, next to his grandfather, the Revd William Tavenor, and the bride, Rebecca Floate, next to her grandfath...

WHEN Rebecca Floate and Jack Tavenor decided to get married, their biggest dilemma was the choice of priest to officiate at the ceremony.

The couple have two grandfathers in ministry, and both were asked to officiate. The wedding took place at St Mary’s, Bettws-y-Crwyn, in south Shropshire.

The grandfathers — the Revd Herbert Floate and the Revd William Tavenor — have a combined age of 188, and a total of 124 years of ordained ministry between them.

Ms Floate said: "Being married by both of our granddads was such a wonderful moment: it meant so much to both of us, and really made our wedding day unbelievably special. They did a sterling job; none of the guests could believe it when they found out how old they both are. We are so proud of them."

Mr Tavenor, now retired at the age of 98, had been Vicar of St Mary’s himself 70 years before, and used his original 1928 Prayer Book, which had remained in the church, to conduct the service. He was ordained in 1940, in Hereford Cathedral, and all but three years of his ministry were spent in Hereford diocese.

Mr Floate, who is 89, was ordained in Mauritius in 1961, and much of his ministry has been spent overseas, in Australia and elsewhere.

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