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Love celebrated for Dagenham church anniversary

PUBLISHED: 12:29 15 September 2015 | UPDATED: 14:00 15 September 2015

St Mary's Parish Church held an exhibition of photographs, wedding dresses and memorabilia to celebrate its 80th anniversary

St Mary's Parish Church held an exhibition of photographs, wedding dresses and memorabilia to celebrate its 80th anniversary

Archant

Love was at the centre of a historic church’s 80th anniversary celebrations as couples renewed wedding vows and hundreds flocked to a display.

Eighteen people rededicated themselves to their sweethearts at St Mary’s Church, in Grafton Road, Dagenham on Sunday – including vicar Julie Fleming.

“It was very special and very personal – even though there were so many people there,” said Julie’s husband, Paul.

“We were really pleased with it. We only expected six couples – but a few turned up at the very last minute.”

Paul, 55, is the church’s community connections officer, responsible for presenting St Mary’s rich heritage.

“On Saturday we had a great exhibition with old wedding dresses, photos and stories of people from the area,” he said.

“There were some fantastic tales in there – including of the couple who paid the vicar double to get married on Christmas Day in 1945 since it was the only time the groom could get leave.

“There was also a photo of a couple who looked so cute that butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths – but they were actually big criminals working on the black market.”

Between two and three hundred people attended the display, with more expected 
before it closes in late October.


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