Bishop of Monmouth elect conducts his son’s Norwegian Abergavenny wedding
9:20am Tuesday 13th August 2013 in News
Bishop of Monmouth elect Richard Pain (left) and Father Mark Soady jointly conduct the wedding of Richard's son Jonathan to his bride Maria Ronessen from Norway.
AS one of his first duties as Bishop Elect of Monmouth the Venerable Richard Pain, conducted a very special wedding in Abergavenny yesterday.
When Jonathan Pain, 29 and hisNorwegian fiancee Maria Ronessen , 28 married at St Mary's Priory Church in front of hundreds of guests, it was his father the Vene Pain, 56, who presided at the wedding.
It proved to be a wedding with a twist, as Bishop Elect Richard, who jointly conducted the service with the Rev Mark Soady, Vicar of Abergavenny, spoke in Norwegian, Welsh and English.
Several hundred guests, many of whom travelled from Norway for the proceedings, wore brightly-coloured national costumes for the ocassion.
They looked on as the bride, wearing a traditional white wedding gown, arrived at the church in a vintage car, assisted by three bridesmaids.
The Bishop Elect, who has been Archdeacon of Monmouth for the past five years, was last month selected to lead Monmouth Diocese as its tenth bishop and presiding at his son’s wedding was one of his first duties.
Jonathan, a financial services consultant, and Maria, a research technician from Norway, met through internet gaming.
They corresponded via Skype before Jonathan went to Norway to meet Maria. Three weeks later they both came back to Wales and settled in Caldicot.
Speaking before the service, Bishop Elect Richard said: “It shows how the internet can start relationships and lead to marriage.”
The couple chose to marry in the 1,000 year-old church as the Ven Pain and his wife Julie have lived in the town since he was appointed Archdeacon. The Ven Pain and his wife also have another son, Christopher, 26.
St Mary’s Church Choir, fresh from a week as choir in residence of Coventry Cathedral, sang Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring before the service and pieces by John Rutter during the signing of the register.
Revd Soady said it was an emotional occasion.
He said: “It was very moving, especially because of the international nature of it and being one of the first duties of the Bishop Elect.”
“It was a traditional service lasting 50 minutes and has a nice warm feeling.”
“This was a very rare occasion for Abergavenny and a wonderful way for the Bishop Elect to start his new role.”
The service was followed by a private reception in the grounds of the Archdeaconry in Abergavenny.
The Ven Pain is bishop elect until he is officially consecrated as a Bishop at Llandaff Cathedral on September 21, his 57th birthday, and enthroned as Bishop of Monmouth in Newport Cathedral on October 18.