Bronte's 'church on the hill' holds its first ever wedding

Wedding historyHistory was made in the village of  Stanbury near Haworth last weekend when the local church held its first ever wedding.

Haworth couple, Simon Rushworth and Julie Laycock chose  to make their wedding vows at St Gabriel’s Church, Stanbury , ‘the little Church on top of the hill’, becoming the first couple to tie the knot there in 166 years.

The Church in Stanbury was inspired by famous Haworth Rector, Rev. Patrick Brontë, built as a Sunday School by his son-in-law Rev. Arthur Bell Nicholls and opened in September 1848. It has served the Pennine moorland village of Stanbury ever since.

Last year Haworth Parochial Church Council sought and was granted a wedding licence for St Gabriel’s.  Now St Gabriel’s has its own register of marriages and Rev. Peter Mayo-Smith, the Rector of Haworth, said that it heralded a new chapter in the church’s history:  

Happy Couple“Now that St Gabriel’s is licenced for weddings it is something more that it can offer to the young people of the upper Worth Valley who want to get married in their own village. The wedding went really well and we're very happy for Julie and Simon.”

Julie explained why they had chose the church for their wedding: “Simon’s family has had a long connection with the village and as we both like both the place and the people we wanted our wedding to take place in Stanbury. Besides which St Gabriel's is a small intimate Church which suited the size of gathering we wanted.

“"It was a wonderful day for us” she added. “The sun came out and the Church was perfect."

If you're planning to get married in a church, you might want to take a look at the Church of England's wedding planning website -

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