When I was 9 I decided I wanted to be a Christian.
My parents were definitely not Christians and I’m not entirely sure what led me there. I think a craving for values and loving a good hymn. I was young and can’t really remember the details but what I do know is that aged 9 I started going to church on Sundays alone.
And what I do know is that from the first Sunday I went, I was not alone, because one family took me in. Every week they were there to sit with and to answer questions. They were great fun, but also took me and my (I’m sure) precocious need to ‘do religion’ seriously and helped me grow with it.
They took me and their wonderful daughter on so many holidays where I got to help her learn to swim, and stand with her as her grandpa got ill, and hear the very first Harry Potter read to us for the very first time.
My mum asked me recently which couple I admire most and somewhat bizarrely without a second thought I said them.
It was a lifetime ago but to this day they are what I understand Christianity to be.
Tomorrow I get to watch that beautiful daughter Hannah walk down the aisle in that perfect little church where her parents watched as we grew up. I’m so proud to have been a weird little part of your family for a while, so glad to see that family grow. And if you and Jon manage to bring even a tenth of the good into the world that your parents have, then your union will be one of the most blessed I know.
(And apologies for the cheesy essay but we don’t say thank you enough and this seemed a good opportunity to show my appreciation for a family who truly made a huge dint on my life Happy Wedding Day!)