Northampton wedding guests forced to move church 10 minutes before bride walks down the aisle because of woodworm danger

Great Brington Church
Great Brington Church

Northampton newlyweds are appealing for compensation after a volunteer “mistakenly let pest control contractors” in the church the day they were due to marry.

Thomas Power and Kelsey Hallam of Upton were due to tie the knot at St. Mary the Virgin with St John Church in Great Brington last month - when their guests were told to leave ten minutes before the bride was due to walk down the aisle - because of insecticide danger.

The couple, who paid £100 for bell ringers, left the church while they were ringing but the pair had not officially been pronounced as husband and wife.

Mr Power said: “We were due to get married at 1pm. Our guests were removed from the church at 12.50pm and moved onto St Andrew’s Church in Harlestone an hour-and-a-half later.

“We purposely chose Great Brington as our church as I took my wife there on our first date and we regularly have picnics there,” he said.

It is understood that the church volunteer told contractors that they could treat the woodworm problem at 8am before the vicar, Sue Kipling found out at midday.

Mr and Mrs Power also arranged for doves to be released after the ceremony but because the service was late starting, they had to pay an additional fee of £60 for their time.

To add to the couple’s annoyance, it is understood that this delay had an affect on the couples catering.

Mr Power told the Chron that the time delay unfortunately meant that the weather changed for the worse and it began to “rain heavily.”

In a statement, reverend Sue Kipling said: “I am very, very sorry that a mistake from a well-meaning volunteer caused the wedding to be delayed for an hour.”

Shelly Stevenson, Communications Officer at Diocese of Peterborough added: “On behalf of Sue, she did her best to sort out the problem as soon as she was made aware of the insecticide shortly before the service was to take place. As registrar she was able to move the ceremony from St Mary the Virgin with St John to St Andrew Harlestone.

“Sue understood that the wedding breakfast was waiting, so she shortened her comments so that the ceremony was finished in 30 minutes.

“Both St Mary the Virgin with St John and St Andrew Harlestone are grade one listed buildings. Churches are not run as businesses; they are run by groups of volunteers who ensure that they will last for future generations. These volunteers have fund raising events to pay for the maintenance of these buildings, and well as volunteer to personally help provide upkeep.

“The volunteer who mistakenly let the pest control contractors is one who has worked for many years to help maintain the grade one listed church building.

“Sue feels very bad that this mistake has impacted on the couple’s very special day.”

The couple were married at St Andrews Church in Harlstone later on that day.

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