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Today were were in Blackburn for the church wedding of Gemma and Kristian. This was a two venue setup, starting in a Catholic Church and then moving to a village hall for the drinks reception and meal.

Gemma and Kristian
St Albans RC Church Blackburn
6 July 2024
Ceremony, Drinks and Meal

As Blackburn is nearly 4 hours from our home in the Cotswolds and with the ceremony scheduled for 11am, we decided to drive up the night before and stay over in a nearby Premier Inn. This turned out to be a good plan and enabled us to have a leisurely breakfast – albeit at a Greggs in a nearby service station. Stylish – Not. But practical – Yes!

Arriving at St Albans RC Church we were met by the priest who was extremely helpful and welcoming. He even invited us into his house once we had set up to make coffee in his kitchen!

St Alban’s parish was founded in 1773 by Bishop Petre and Father William Fisher, the Faith has put down deep roots in East Lancashire.

 In 1773 just two baptisms were entered in the register but by 1780, Bishop Matthew Gibson confirmed 31 parishoners at Blackburn and 110 communicants recorded. It has been estimated that there were 745 Catholics in Blackburn in 1805. 

The population of Blackburn continued to grow and between 1801 and 1821, the census confirmed it had almost doubled from 11,980 to 21,940.  A similar increase in the Catholic community, no doubt assisted by the Irish immigration, meant that the little St Alban’s chapel in Chapel Street needed to be replaced by a larger church on a new site – Larkhill.

The building of the new church began in 1824 and unlike the previous chapels was not hidden by other buildings. Blackburn Catholics were no longer afraid to pin their hearts on their sleeves and this was demonstrated on the Feast of St Alban on 21st June 1826 when the opening of the new church was advertised in the “Blackburn Mail”.

This church was to fulfil the needs of the St Alban’s congregation for the rest of the nineteenth century until a new building in 1901 which remains to this day.

Pre Ceremony
All you need is love
Annie’s song
Bluebird – Alexis Ffrench

Bridal Entrance
Nuvole bianche – Einaudi

Ave maria

Canon in D

As well as the ceremony music Jules also played three hymns on the piano.

  • I the lord of sea and sky
  • One bread, one body and bread, Blessed and broken as communion hymns
  • Sing it in the valleys

After the church service we packed away as quickly as possible including dismantling our piano shell and hastily made our way towards Clitheroe for the Drinks reception and meal which was being held in Hurst Green Village Hall, ABC War Memorial Hall.

Here the timings of the afternoon had been carefully planned around the England vs Switzerland football match in this years Euros.

Our setlist during the afternoon reception included:

Dreams – the cranberries
Beautiful in white
Toto Africa
Always remember us this way
How long will I love you
I Giorni
I get to love you
Ill be there for you
Love story
A million dreams
You’re still the one
Another love
Game of thrones
Jurassic park
Le onde
Now we are free
Tennessee hans zimmer
Fuori del mondo

We then ended our set towards the end of the dessert as various people were then organising a television to show the England vs Switzerland game. We really enjoyed being a part of Gemma and Kristian’s wedding and we wish them both all the best for their married future together.

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