Don't tell the bride: St Luke's Church, Cranham, organises wedding for parishioners free of charge
PUBLISHED: 18:00 05 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:43 13 November 2013
A Cranham church has come to the rescue of two loved-up but hard-up parishioners and handed them a "Don't Tell the Bride"-style wedding worth thousands of pounds.
Jacqui Loewy and Adam Nicholson, of Roseberry Gardens, Cranham, are set to get married at St Luke’s Church in Front Lane on July 19 next year.
The date is the last piece of information they’ll receive about the wedding until the big day – because everything else, from rings to catering, will be sorted out by Rev. Michael Vickers and his congregation.
“It’s amazing – everyone from the church is coming together,” said stay-at-home mum-of-two Jacqui, 28.
“When you think there’s nobody there for you, it turns out there are people – you just need to ask for help.
“We’d been through family problems, job problems and money problems, as well as depression and the kids being ill.
“We needed to prove to everyone we’re a family.”
The wedding is just the latest in a series of romantic surprises for Jacqui – because until she met Adam she didn’t even want a relationship.
“My mum set us up,” she said. “I’d decided I didn’t want a man any more – it was just me and my daughter.
“She said: ‘If it doesn’t work out, he’s a really good babysitter’.
“That was it – we’ve been together ever since.”
Rev. Vickers, 52, said the wedding was “a way to get people in the church to use their gifts”.
“Normally church is about whether you can preach or take Sunday school,” he said, “but people might have practical gifts.
“We wanted to do something that makes an impact in the community – so everybody feels like they’re missionaries without rushing off to a foreign country with a bible in their hands.”
Unknown to Rev. Vickers, his offer to give Jacqui and Adam the wedding of their dreams came just a couple of days after the couple had realised they wanted to tie the knot but couldn’t afford it.
“I’d been going to church about four years and had never prayed out loud,” said Jacqui, 28.
“One Friday, I prayed for some help so we could get married.
“And on the Sunday, Michael came up to me and said he just had to help organise our wedding.
“It’s such a miracle.”