Vicar gets special permission from Archbishop of Canterbury to wed couple in garden – The Sun
A VICAR got special permission from the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry a terminally ill man and his partner in their garden – as he was too sick to make it to the church.
Former truck driver Ian Cook, 66, from Rossendale, Lancs, and his partner of eleven years, Mary, 65, decided to tie the knot last week after Ian was diagnosed with lung cancer just before lockdown.
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The pair had planned a ceremony at Burnley Registry office – but it was declined at the last minute because there would have been too many people there.
Mary’s daughter Sarah Nuttall, 43, helped organise her mum’s special day, saying it was “very special”.
She told The Sun: "We found out the lung cancer had spread to his liver and he only had a few weeks left to live, so he and mum wanted to get married.
"They were meant to be married in a registry office but they declined saying there would have been too many people because of social distancing regulations, with the registrar, bride and groom and witnesses.
"Our local vicar contacted the Archbishop of Canterbury to get special permission to carry out the wedding at their home.
“He wouldn’t have been fit to make it to the church, so it meant a lot they would get married at home.
"He made mum's dream come true. It was a perfect day."
Sarah helped decorate the garden with flowers and lights as a surprise for her mum.
She added: “I wanted to make it perfect for her.
“The vicar even bought champagne and a bouquet of flowers.
"He went out of his way to make my mum and Ian happy, and I can't thank him enough.
"Someone else had offered to do a blessing over Zoom, which was a nice offer, but it wasn't a proper marriage. and that's what they wanted.”
And the neighbours got involved – at a distance – bringing wine, pizza and music.
The vicar even bought champagne and a bouquet of flowers. He went out of his way to make my mum and Ian happy, and I can't thank him enough.
Sarah added: “Some neighbours came out to watch and we all had some bubbles and wine together.
“One even ordered some pizza and brought out her speakers and played some of mum and Ian’s favourite songs.
“It was a really special day.”
Father David, 44, told The Sun: “It was a bittersweet day, I was very happy to be able to join them together in marriage, but the circumstances were sad.
"I applied to the London Faculty Office of the Church of England, through the Archbishop of Canterbury, for a special marriage licence so I could marry them in their own home as Ian wouldn’t have been well enough to make it to the church.
"They were brilliant and it only took 48hours to get the permission.
"The Church of England is all about serving the community and helping everyone we can, so I was glad my church, St James' church in Haslingden, was able to do something.
"It was a lovely ceremony, some neighbours came out to watch and it was very joyful.
"When my parishioners heard what was happening they sent some champagne and flowers to the happy couple to help them celebrate the day.
"I loved being able to say yes and do something to help."
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