'A wonderful, fantastic day' - Chapel hosts first wedding since 1933

The wedding party of Mary Robinson and Michael Ford, pictured with

The wedding party of Mary Robinson and Michael Ford, pictured with lay pastor Ros Peedle and Rev Colin Telfer at Lessingham Methodist Chapel, the first the place of worship had hosted since 1933. - Credit: Paul Hurst

When Mary Robinson and Michael Ford shared their first kiss as a married couple at the Methodist chapel in Lessingham, they were the first couple to do so in many a year. 

Their wedding at the small, but bustling place of worship in north Norfolk, was the first the chapel has seen since 1933. 

After the wedding, Mrs Ford paid tribute to the significance of day, saying: "This is really the chapel’s day as well as ours. I am so glad we are all celebrating together."

The wedding party of Mary Robinson and Michael Ford, centre,

The wedding party of Mary Robinson and Michael Ford, centre, at Lessingham Methodist Chapel, the first the place of worship had hosted since 1933. - Credit: Paul Hurst

Ros Peedle, lay pastor, and the chapel's superintendent minister Rev Colin Telfer, both presided over the wedding, which took place in front of a group of about 23 family and friends. 

Mrs Peedle, who first got to know the couple 12 years ago, said she was thrilled the chapel finally had the chance join a couple - who are both from Cromer - in matrimony. 

She said: "I first met Mary as a fellow quilter as we're both members of Norfolk Quilters, and we've been friends ever since.

"When time came for their wedding, which they very much wanted to be in a church where they had a connection and Lessingham Chapel was the obvious choice and the chapel folk were glad to help them celebrate their special day.

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"It was a wonderful, fantastic day an a joy to everyone who was there. The couple were over the moon at everything."

Mrs Ford said: "We first went to the chapel for a flower show a few years back. As we came into the chapel it was like being enveloped in a huge hug. As we left we both mused how marvellous it would be to have our wedding there."

Mrs Peedle said the reason there had been such a long break since the chapel's most recent wedding almost nine decades ago was lack of demand. 

She said: "No-one has asked us. I think also it's because Lessingham is largely a village of older folk. It's much more likely for couples to get married earlier in life and retire to this area, because it's such a beautiful village. 

"Of course Lessingham also has a church as well."

The chapel was built in 1881, but Mrs Peedle said Methodist worship had been happening in Lessingham as early as 1834.