Warden to wed in own church

Jezz Morley and Di Marshall at St Andrew's Church, Asgarby, where they are to be married. EMN-190716-003036001
Jezz Morley and Di Marshall at St Andrew's Church, Asgarby, where they are to be married. EMN-190716-003036001

A churchwarden is to remarry in the church she looks after and dreamed about as the venue for her big day as a child.

Di Marshall, 53, of Asgarby, oversees the upkeep of her local St Andrew’s Church, somewhere she has grown up around and even played in as a little girl having been born in the village.

Now, after a 10-year engagement, she will finally wed her long time partner Jezz Morley at the church on August 10.

She believed it was quite rare for a churchwarden to marry in their own church, adding: “I suppose I’m quite young for a churchwarden these days. I have been the warden for seven years. We are both divorcees and will be the first ones to marry here I understand, so it is a little bit of history.

“We have been living together for 13 years and Jezz asked me to marry him but I wanted to get married in our little church and back then we were not allowed as divorcees, so we stayed as we were. Then Rev Chris Harrington took over. We got to know him and in May we asked him to marry us and he agreed. And so I have had eight weeks to prepare.”

Di, who is a local artist and does history talks to groups, took charge of events, acquiring a simple designer dress with train, arranging flowers and decorations, as well as having a marquee for the reception in their garden.

She said: “It is quite overwhelming, as when I was a little girl, I used to play with my friend in the church and pretended to be brides and wondered if we would marry there.”

She moved away for a while and married young in a register office, but after that ended she is overjoyed to be going to the church she loves and sees as a second home.

Jezz, a window and door engineer, helps her with the grass cutting duties in the churchyard. But both will have to hand over their roles to stand-ins for their big day.

Dave Collishaw, churchwarden of neighbouring Scredington, wlll pump the organ for organist Brian West.

Di normally has the job of lighting candles, signing books, counting guest numbers but that will all be handed over too.

Di was born in the house where they live and the couple will do things slightly differently on their big day, walking from their cottage hand in hand to the church.

“I am very passionate about the church and my parents are buried there,” she said. “I will be emotional, but not nervous – it is not a scary place for me and it will be a laid back service.”