Vicar keeping his wedding in-house...

HE is very much the model vicar - and he is keeping his wedding in-house!

Rev Andrew Allington may spend rather a lot of his time at St Mary's Church, but that has not stopped him wanting to have his own wedding there in the summer.

He is planning to have the service and the reception in the room where he would usually be giving his Sunday sermon.

And officials at the Diocese of Sheffield are holding up the 53-year-old clergyman's wedding to fiancee Hazel Trugden, aged 34, as a model which others may like to follow at a wedding fayre at the church next month.

The Rev Allington has asked the Bishop of Sheffield to carry out the service at the main altar.

Then guests will retire to a marquee in the church grounds, while the furniture is removed from the main church room. The altar will be moved out of the way so there will be space for the top table, and the food will be brought over from the church's community hall.

"That's the way we're going to do it, with a buffet meal," said the Rev Allington. "But people could do it with waiter service.

"It means there will be no waiting around between different elements of the wedding.

"I've conducted nearly 100 weddings over the years, and its's great that I'm now I'm going to be the groom.

"We will be showing how we're doing it at the wedding fayre, although there will be no sign of Hazel's wedding dress there - I'm not allowed to see it until the big day on July 9."

The couple met last year at the Stainforth Water Festival, and have been a couple for six months.

"It was certainly passion at first sight as far as I was concerned, and our love has grown," said the vicar.

The One-Stop Wedding Fayre at the church is on Saturday February 12 from 10am until 4pm.

"Hazel and I are keen to use our own wedding to model what is possible for others if they choose to use St Mary's as their venue and we will be shopping there too," said the vicar.

The idea for the wedding fayre at the church came about when the assistant curate, the Rev Eleanor Simpson, was completing her MA dissertation on 'Church Weddings in 21st Century Britain'.

She said: "During training for ministry we were constantly challenged to think about how the Church can engage with the whole community.

"After discussions with Andrew Allington, we realised that our church, and newly refurbished community centre with landscaped grounds for marquee hire, would be an ideal venue for a one stop wedding."

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