Church is shrouded in secrecy for a wedding day cover-up!
- Credit: Archant
Bride Victoria Clark faced wedding day disappointment when the church where the ceremony was to take place had its tower wrapped in scaffolding for essential repairs.
But husband-to-be Ian Knightley stepped in to organise giant banners, balloons and bunting to camouflage the metalwork on the tower at historic St James’s in Little Paxton.
Guests at the wedding said the disguise had made the ceremony more unusual and would stay in their memories.
Canon Annette Reed, vicar, said: “I think everyone was saying that. It was a joyful and happy wedding and I think the banners, balloons and the bunting made a lovely addition.”
“It was a fantastic wedding and we all thought it looked stunning.”
She said the bride had absolutely no idea the scaffolding was being hidden until she arrived at the church - and friends had been forced to distract her from making a last-minute check at the church the day before.
“She was stunned when she arrived,” Annette said.
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“I can understand that anyone, quite rightly, would feel disappointed with the church with the scaffolding in place. It is a very pretty and attractive church.
“Unfortunately, we did not know when the wedding was booked whether we would be getting the funds to do the work and we did not know, if we did get the funding, when the work would start.”
She said something good had come out of what could have been a sad situation because no bride wanted the church she was marrying in to be covered in scaffolding.
Annette said that problems with the building, which dates back to the 1100s, were revealed during its five-year inspection.
There were issues with the walls, both in the nave and in the tower, which needed to be repaired, together with some stonework at the top of the tower.
Annette said that funding for the repairs, which cost £92,000, had come from the Amey community fund, which was putting in £40,000, and the National Churches Trust, which gave £5,000. Further donations of £5,000 came from the Garfield Weston Foundation and £3,000 from the Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust.
She said that the work could not have taken place without the grants.
Annette said that on Saturday (June 2) there would be an auction of fixtures and fittings from the bell tower at Great Paxton church which was undergoing restoration, starting at 2pm.