Couple meets Archbishop Tutu on 21st Anniversary Trip
March 29, 2016
March 29, 2016
The pair, who live in Station Road, Henley, were in South Africa to renew their vows when they were introduced to Desmond Tutu, the 85-year-old retired Anglican bishop and human rights campaigner, while making arrangements for the ceremony.
The men first met at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on March 6, 1995, so they returned to celebrate.
Steve, 59, says: “We explained in an email what we wanted to do.”
“We met in the cathedral in 1995 and obviously life has moved on a great deal since then. Who would have thought we could marry each other?”
“We went down to the cafe to meet the dean and there was Desmond Tutu, who needs no introduction.”
“I’m fairly mouthy at the best of times but I was thunderstruck because I couldn’t believe I was being introduced to this elder statesman.”
“Who would believe two guys from Henley would get to meet someone like that? We sat down and had a chat, which was mind-blowing. We talked about the fact Geoffrey and I had met in the cathedral 21 years before and we told him about where we lived and what we wanted to do and he said all that sounded fine by him.”
“His daughter married her female partner in Amsterdam not too long ago.”
“He said ‘unfortunately, I’m away, otherwise I’d come along!’ I think he understood how we felt, what we wanted to do and why St George’s is such a special place to us. You don’t usually expect to find a husband in a cathedral! He said ‘the cathedral is about bringing people together’.”
“I’ve never, ever met anyone like that. People say ‘did you have a good holiday?’ and we reply ‘we’ve only got the one photo’ and when they say ‘what a shame’ we show it to them and they say ‘oh, wow’.”
The couple had a civil ceremony at Henley Registry Office in 2009 and last year were married there.
Source: Henley Standard