By Carl Llewellyn

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On Saturday 24th November the choir were privileged to sing at the wedding of Mr Osian llyr Williams and Miss Nicola Louise Pope at St Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Berkley Castle. There was a connection with the Williams family and Dowlais – Osian’s grandmother, Dowlais-born Nan Richards and Osian’s grandfather, the Reverend Keith Phillips who became the Minister of Ivor English Congregational Chapel, Ivor Street, Dowlais. The Reverend Keith Phillips served the congregation at Ivor Chapel between 1957 and 1961. The choir had connections with the Williams family too – one of its choristers, Meurig Price and his wife Shelia were married by the Reverend Keith Williams; also our Chairman’s parents – former chorister Len and his wife Val Hargreaves where also married by the Reverend Keith Williams. Furthermore, the Choir’s accompanist, Michael Jones teaches at the same Welsh school as Osian’s mother, Bethan Williams.

The choir left Merthyr Tydfil at 09:15 am and arrived at the venue at 10:30 am. The early arrival meant the Stage Managers, Richard Cole and John Powell had time to seat the Choir. It was organised so the choir would stand and sing in front of the Church Altar and following the choir’s performances, the Choir sat each side of the altar in the choir stalls beneath a wonderful stained glass window, dedicated to the memory of Dr Edward Jenner, (1749-1823). Dr Jenner was an English physician and scientist who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine, the world’s first of its kind.

The wedding ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Mary Tucker and was a high society affair, depicted by the venue, the wedding party, the Bridegroom, Best Man, Bridegroom’s Father and Bride’s Father, and 6 groomsmen all wearing the same blue suits and red ties. The Bridal Party consisted of the Bride looking exquisite in her white wedding dress encrusted with diamantes and she was supported by her Matron of Honour and six bridesmaids – all dressed in light burgundy, with two junior bridesmaids and two pageboys.

The choir entertained the wedding guests as they arrived, giving a Welsh flavour to the proceedings.

Before the service:

I bob un sy’n ffyddlon (Rachie)

Y Darlun (Dwy law yn erfyn)

Finlandia (Rho i’m yr hedd)

American Trilogy

Hiraeth

Cwm Rhondda

We’ll keep a welcome

Myfanwy

Yfory

This is the moment

During singing the of register, the choir sang Gwahoddiad (Mi glywaf dyner lais).

St Mary Church, Berkeley is a striking 13th century church standing beside Berkeley Castle. The Church is notable for its medieval wall paintings, detached bell tower, table tombs, and memorials to the Berkeley family. There had been a Church at Berkeley as early as the Saxon period, but the present St Mary’s primarily dates to the 13th and 14th centuries. The sheer size of the Church is striking, situated as it is in such a small village. More unusual is the detached tower, a feature more commonly found on the European continent but rarely in England. The tower is 17th century, and stands on the site of an earlier Church.

There was one notable celebrity in attendance – namely Wales International Rugby player, Gareth Thomas (known as ‘Alfie’) and also known for the  series “Alfie’s Angels”, which was produced by the Cardiff-based company “Copa cymru”, set up by Director and Groom, Osian Williams. The company includes a team of filmmakers with a shared passion for creating video content and in 2018 “Copa cymru” won a Bafta Cymru Award for the Children’s Programme category.

The Choir’s Musical Director, Mrs Darya Brill-Williams, Choir Accompanist, Mr Michael Jones, Choir Officers and Choristers wish to congratulate Osian and Nicola on the occasion of their wedding, and wish them every happiness for the future.

 

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