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The attention of the world's media was fixed upon St Bride's on the morning of Saturday 5th March, when we hosted a service of prayers and thanksgiving for the marriage of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall, who had been married in a civil ceremony the previous day.
It was a private ceremony, and very much a family event - all ten of the sons and daughters of Rupert and Jerry from their previous relationships played active roles in the service - and a congregation full of well-known faces was in attendance. Rupert and Jerry's guests included, amongst others, Bob Geldof, Bill Wyman, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Michael Caine, Richard E. Grant, Tom Stoppard, Tracey Emin, Barry Humphries, Michael Gove, Priti Patel, Bianca and Jade Jagger, David Bailey, Alan Yentob, and Rebekah Brooks. The service was led by the Rector, Canon Alison Joyce, who also gave the address, and Fr Jonathan Morris, a Roman Catholic priest from New York who broadcasts with Fox News, led prayers of blessing and added a few words of his own.
The service included hymns, readings, and some wonderful music from our outstanding choir. During the ceremony, the new Mr and Mrs Murdoch renewed their marriage vows, had their wedding rings blessed, and together lit a nuptial candle on the high altar. It was a warm, dignified and moving occasion, in a church with which Rupert Murdoch has long-standing personal links: there is a memorial plaque to his late father in St Bride's, and he has attended occasional services here for many years. (Indeed, he came to a recent Choral Eucharist with Jerry Hall.) Yet another occasion of note in the unfolding history of the Journalists' Church!