It’s a father’s dream to escort his daughter up the aisle on her wedding day. But for one Peterborough dad it is a day of double joy.
For the Rev Charles Taylor is the Dean of Peterborough and he will preside over the marriage of his daughter, Rachel and her fiancé Nick Leadbeatter on Saturday.
It will be the first time that a dean’s daughter has been married in the cathedral since 1989 - on that occasion Dean Randolph Wise presided at the wedding of his daughter, Nicola.
Nick and Rachel’s wedding will also have the distinction of being the last one to be recorded in the ancient Marriage Register that the cathedral has been using since 1838.
The pages are now becoming fragile and the time has come to move to a new format, designed to accommodate the information for modern wedding records.
Dean Charles Taylor said: “My wife, Catherine, and I are really looking forward to the day. It will certainly be a unique experience.
“I have officiated at a number of family celebrations, but obviously this is going to be a particularly special and moving day for us.
“Needless to say, it will be rather difficult for me both to take the service and escort the bride up the aisle - I’d end up passing her hand over to myself! – so her brother, Benedict, a London Paramedic, will assume that role. Rachel’s grandfathers, both Anglican priests, will lead the prayers, and there will be some superb music led by the cathedral choir and organists.”
Rachel (29) met Nick (27), when they were students at Newcastle University. She was studying medicine and he was working for a Master’s Degree in Town Planning.
Nick plays football regularly for a local side and Rachel is a keen member of the medics hockey team.
She also maintains a strong link with the “Light in Africa” orphanage in Tanzania, where she has visited and worked as a volunteer – most recently for three months last year when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
She now works as a GP in Alnwick, Northumberland, and teaches medical students in Tyneside; Nick is a Housing Officer in Northumberland, and they will be living in Ryton, not far from Newcastle.
The origins of Peterborough Cathedral can be traced back to King Peada of the Middle Angles who founded the first monastery on the site in 655AD.
The monastic settlement was almost entirely destroyed by the Vikings in 870 and rebuilt as a Benedictine Abbey between 960 and 970.
The Abbey church then survived Hereward the Wake’s attack in 1069, and remained intact until an accidental fire in 1116. It was rebuilt in its present form between 1118 and 1238.