St Peter’s Church in March becomes St Mary’s for Sam and Lucy’s big day

BRIDE Lucy Groome set her heart on getting married in the church where her parents and grandparents had tied the knot. But her dream was shattered when St Mary’s Church in March was destroyed by arsonists.

The wedding venue had to be changed to St Peter’s Church, but on Saturday for one day only it became St Mary’s in accordance with a law passed many years ago.

Rector of St Mary’s and St Peter’s, the Rev Anthony Chandler, had discovered a law passed during wartime where if a church was destroyed, as many were by bombing, you could use the next church for a wedding or funeral and call it by that name for one day only.

The Rev Jenny Webb, of St Mary’s and St Peter’s, said: “The law allows that if a church is burned down or destroyed in the way St Mary’s was then another church can be designated.” The name change has been used for three couples who had planned to marry at St Mary’s.

The banns for Lucy and Sam’s wedding were read out at St Mary’s, the registers which were saved from the flames were used to record the marriage and the marriage certificate says the couple were married at St Mary’s.

As a poignant touch, some of the scorched roof tiles from St Mary’s were placed by one of the flower arrangements.

After the wedding Lucy and her husband Sam Culyer went to St Mary’s to have some photographs taken.

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Lucy Jane Groome is the only daughter of Ian and Jane Groome of The Laurels, High Street, March, and Samuel George Culyer is the second son of Keith and Gloria Culyer of Welford cottage, High Road, Wisbech St Mary.

The bride was attended by bridesmaids Kelly Wright and Gemma Sutton (friends), flower girl Katie Culyer (groom’s niece) and page boys James and George Martin (bride’s cousins).

Best man was Chris Beeken (friend) and ushers were Chris, David and Alex Groome (bride’s brothers) and Adam Culyer (groom’s brother).

A reception was held at Elme Hall Hotel, Wisbech, and the couple are honeymooning in Bali. Lucy, a primary school teacher, and Sam, a graphic designer, live in Bristol.

(Picture: RICHARD MARTIN)

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