I love finding new venues and especially the tucked away ones that are off the beaten track. This summer I was delighted to conduct a Humanist Marriage ceremony at the fabulous Seaton Collegiate Church near North Berwick.
Seton is one of the finest medieval collegiate churches surviving in Scotland. Its story begins in the 12th century, when the site was chosen for a new church serving the parishioners of Seton. In the 15th century, the church was increasingly used as the private place of worship and burial vault of the Seton family, the local landowners. (Their residence, Seton Castle, lay immediately to the west on a site now occupied by Seton Palace).
The church, no longer serving as a religious building is now in the excellent care of Historic Scotland. It really is an impressive building with a welcoming atmosphere. The transepts, choir and sacristy are still in an amazingly good condition and full of fascinating detail, from the possible tomb of the Second Lord Seton to the cracked Dutch Bell, that once hung there.
It is ideal for holding a wedding ceremony or can be hired as an impressive backdrop for your photographs.
Not only will you have a spectacular setting for your celebrations, you also will be helping with the preservation of this magnificent building and safeguarding an important piece of Scottish history.
I think that’s what I loved about it the most. I do feel that we have a duty, as the present custodians of historic buildings and places, to ensure that they remain accessible to the public; it is part of our history after all.
As a Humanist I believe that we have one life and it is our duty to make the most of it, while respecting the beliefs of others. Humanism is also about having a care for our environment in the name of future generations, that’s our immortality.
I feel that ‘our environment’ encompasses everything around us, not just natural habitats, but physical structures and places of great importance too. Yes, you can take a photograph, but it’s not the same as standing in a historically significant place and being able to appreciate it’s full magnificence and impact. Story telling is important to me, as again I feel this gives us immortality, as stories of the past will be told and re told over and over again.
Being at Seaton Collegiate really did make me feel excited that I was involved in something that was helping with it’s preservation and I was truly bowled over at the enthusiasm of the ‘keepers’ of Seaton Collegiate.
Historic Scotland is an Agency within the Scottish Government and is directly responsible to Scottish Ministers for safeguarding the nation’s historic environment, and promoting its understanding and enjoyment. Their staff encompass a wide range of disciplines and skills, and are committed to safeguarding the nation’s heritage for present and future generations.
You can help too, you don’t have to be planning a wedding or holding a huge corporate event, by simply visiting any one of Historic Scotland fabulous environments you be involved in the safeguarding it’s historic future.
Seaton Collegiate is open for visitors 1st April to 30th September, more information here, and you never know, you might even be lucky enough to see a wedding taking place.
Morag is one of the Fuze Foundation’s principal celebrants and is happy to conduct humanist ceremonies all over Scotland.