1.9 billion people who watched the royal wedding around the world on 19 May, would have seen in the midst of the usual pomp and circumstance associated with these events a rather significant spiritual tone. This was evident through the familiar hymns, scriptural passages, a rousing address that contained the elements of salvation and a gospel choir during the holy matrimony.
Seventh-day Adventist presence and input was significant through the work of Mark De Lisser, who arranged the song sang by The Kingdom Gospel Choir, entitled 'Stand by Me'.
A song, as Mark 4600181988_1032x686shared, chosen by the royal couple Harry and Meghan, because of the words that for them depicted commitment and faithfulness within marriage. With this honourable motive in mind, Mark rearranged the original version to reflect the emphasis of staying beside your loved one, in fulfilment of the marital vows that reflect 'standing by' "…from, this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part…" For Mark, it was about getting this message of commitment and permanence across to all people within relationships today, irrespective of culture, faith or belief.
This emphasis was achieved not just in light of the popularity it has galvanised with increasing downloads on Spotify and other social music platforms, but the discussions and topical debates it has sparked, bringing marriage back to the forefront.
Paul Lee, Assistant to the South England Conference (SEC) President, 10_Paul_Lee1singing the lead role in the song, was a recognisable face on the television amongst the Adventist population. With the numerous TV and radio interviews that followed he shared with BUC News, how he had sung with The Kingdom Gospel Choir, several years ago and was asked to assist with the choir for this performance. The lead role was reserved for a well-known singer, however when a contingent of the choir which included Paul met with Harry and Meghan, a practise performance in which Paul temporarily stepped in to the lead role led to the couple being very happy with the performance and requested that Paul sing the lead on the day.
Paul's background in music spans over 40 years where on a professional basis he's been singing and performing. His musical prowess was discovered at the young age of eighteen where he was recognised on TV after creating a jingle for the children's TV show Metal Mickey.
His talent over the years has been recognised by the SEC and was asked to serve as Music director for several years before taking on his current role as Assistant to the Conference President.
Since the involvement of both Paul and Mark, there have been increased activity on the national Church website and BUC News social media platforms from the analytics received from 'clicks' and 'searches' from the general public, seeking to know more about the couple.
This provides a unique opportunity for members of the public to see the other aspects on the Church website that explain the beliefs, mission and community activities.
See here for a prior interview with Paul on HopeTV-UK.
See here for Mark's story.