Couple decide on Saturday to marry ahead of lockdown - and 24 hours later they do just that

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before...

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before lockdown, Witcham, Ely Sunday 01 November 2020. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

A couple who woke on Saturday and decided they wanted to get married ahead of lockdown, did just that at break neck speed.

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before...

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before lockdown, Witcham, Ely Sunday 01 November 2020. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Jo Loosemore and her fiancé Matthew Goffin got married at a hastily arranged wedding ceremony in their village church 24 hours later.

The Rev Mary Hancock –who coincidentally lists on her CV “project planning and management” - switched morning prayer at St Martin’s church in Witcham to a wedding service.

And parishioners Jo and Matthew, originally due to wed in two weeks’ time in Devon, became husband and wife.

The Rev Hancock said that because the banns had been read both at Witcham and in Devon, it meant the legal side of the wedding had already been sorted.

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before...

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before lockdown, Witcham, Ely Sunday 01 November 2020. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris


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“There were other legal routes open to us but this was by far the quickest and easiest,” she said after the couple contacted her on Saturday morning.

Jo, 33, and her partner Matthew Goffin, 37, were due to wed in two weeks’ time at a parish church near her family home in rural Devon.

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But when they woke to news of a possible second national lockdown they decided to see if someone can help to bring their wedding forward – to before the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces a second lockdown.

“My partner and I have been together for five years,” she said.

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before...

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before lockdown, Witcham, Ely Sunday 01 November 2020. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

“We were due to get married on November 14 but feared lockdown will prevent this.

“We just want to be married as I can’t imagine being with anyone else.”

Jo said: “We met at work and our first date was on a parkrun despite me never running before. I’ve now become a runner and won my local handicap 10k race last year.”

She said Matthew proposed on Christmas Day “by hiding the ring in the Christmas tree. It was lovely and romantic.”

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before...

Jo and Mathew get married at break neck speed after arranging the wedding in 24hrs so they could be married before lockdown, Witcham, Ely Sunday 01 November 2020. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

She said their wedding was supposed to be in Devon and 15 close family members were on the invitation list.

“Unfortunately, Covid-19 has made us replan the wedding countless times.”

Jo said that on Saturday morning when they heard news of the pending lockdown “I thought I would try to see if we can get married this weekend.

“If I can’t it is meant to be – but we are hoping someone can help us out.”

She added: “So many people in the village offered their services so we actually had a trumpeter and an organist at our wedding which was amazing.”

The Rev Hancock said She was also able to agree with the church warden to substitute a service of morning prayer with a wedding, and so preparations hastily got under way.

The socially distanced wedding drew several onlookers after word of mouth spread around the village.

“I was simply happy to do what we could,” said the Rev Hancock.

The vicar has been at St Mary’s for nine years and looks after the parish, Sutton and Mepal.

Prior to that she served her first post, after ordination in 2007, in Emneth.

Her career previously to the ministry was an applied invertebrate ecologist, team manager and business development manager.

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