GALLERY: A colourful and engaging spectacle as Chatteris church adds a wonderful chapter to its centuries old history

Wedding fair held at Chatteris Parish Church. Zoe Eglen enjoys a hog roast.

Wedding fair held at Chatteris Parish Church. Zoe Eglen enjoys a hog roast. - Credit: Archant

HISTORIANS speculate about when Christianity reached Chatteris, but by the 9th century for sure.

Wedding fair held at Chatteris Parish Church. Sarah Hunter models the winter collection dress.

Wedding fair held at Chatteris Parish Church. Sarah Hunter models the winter collection dress. - Credit: Archant

We also know that Aelfwen, the countess of East Anglia, founded an abbey there around 980AD.

Wedding fair held at Chatteris Parish Church. Models Sophie Collins, Kelly Bird and Yvette Dickson.

Wedding fair held at Chatteris Parish Church. Models Sophie Collins, Kelly Bird and Yvette Dickson. - Credit: Archant

We also can record, for certainty, that Bishop Nigel of Ely gave the town its parish church in 1162 and in the next 700 years all manner of things happened until Gonville and Caius; College, Cambridge, became its patron and remain so today.

On Saturday the church added another milestone to its colourful history by staging its first wedding fair, packing in stalls, wedding shows, cake demonstrations and providing guidance to couples considering a church wedding.

The Rev Wendy Thomson used Twitter and Facebook to spread the news about the fair, making extensive use of social media to bring visitors to the fair.


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By the end of the day she was “exhausted but so grateful for the amazing team of volunteers I work with.”

She said not only had it been a busy day but she had shared “some emotional conversations as people realised they could be married in a church”.

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By Monday it was back to normal for the Rev Thomson, who had only been installed as vicar two weeks earlier.

She tweeted that she was now “sitting in a marriage law seminar with a huge number of clergy”.

The Rev Thomson had previously looked after the parish in what was affectively a job share with her husband James who has now become a hospital chaplain.

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