Watch: The magical moment when York’s town crier took part in a surprise Minster proposal

16 Jun 2020 @ 11.57 am
| Video

It’s not unusual to hear wedding bells at York Minster. But last night, pre-wedding bells rang out at the great cathedral!

That was thanks to York Town Crier Ben Fry, who officiated at his first-ever wedding proposal on Monday evening (Monday, 15 June).

Chris Pegg had lured his girlfriend Georgi Moon to Dean’s Park next to the Minster, on the premise of getting a take-out from a York restaurant.

She thought Ben was there to announce the closure of the park for the day – and was genuinely surprised when this happened…

Video: Dan Simmonite

Happily Georgi said yes. And after Ben’s declaration the newly-engaged couple were greeted with spontaneous applause by people in the park.

All fell into place

The magic moment

Chris and Georgi first met six years ago via Tinder. Chris was living in Germany at the time, but both their families were based in Lincolnshire.

Their first meeting “was very romantic – at Grimsby train station”, Chris revealed.

They moved to York about three years ago. “We love calling York home, it’s the best place ever to live,” said Chris.


He had been thinking about proposing for a while – and then came the pandemic and lockdown.

Chris was furloughed from his job as York City commercial manager, while Georgi was working from home in her role in recruitment.

So he had to order the ring online. Then he lined up his friend Dan Simmonite, City’s media officer, to take the video and pictures.

Then he asked Ben if he could take part – and “luckily it all fell into place yesterday evening”.

Not sunk in

All smiles in Dean’s Park

“I was completely in shock. It’s not sunk in yet, I still can’t believe it,” Georgi told YorkMix.

“I was shocked but really happy.

“It was perfect. But I would have put some make-up on if I knew it was happening – I wish I’d done my nails!”

They celebrated with a bottle of bubbly. Spotted by a York Minster policeman he reminded them of the park’s no alcohol rule – before adding that he’d seen what happened and offering his congratulations.

Then the park closed, and they returned home to tuck in to a Chinese take-away.

Chris offered his heartfelt thanks to both Ben and Dan.

Town Crier Ben said: “I’ve done some amazing things as York Town Crier. The Ellie Goulding wedding was the coolest thing I’d done before now – but seeing them start their journey together has topped that.

“Chris gave a lovely speech. You could see Georgi’s look of shock turn to joy.

“And when everyone in the park burst into applause, it was something special!”

Today congratulations started pouring in, not least from York Minster itself, saying in a Tweet: “This is why we’re happy to have the park open again, to enjoy happier times!”