A COUPLE who had to postpone their wedding because of coronavirus were among the first to marry in a church following the lifting of lockdown restrictions tomorrow.

Andrew Barker, 37, and Katie Wilson, 35, tied the knot on Saturday at St John’s Church, Barrow Island, at midday.

Only Katie’s father and Andrew’s mother were present as witnesses while the Rev Andy Batchelor officiated the socially distanced wedding.

In March, as the coronavirus pandemic forced church buildings were closed for public worship, funerals, weddings, baptisms, and private prayer. However, weddings are again possible from Saturday, with a limit of 30 people.

Katie, a housing officer for Barrow Borough Council, said: “We’d planned to get married on April 18 but the coronavirus put paid to all of that. It was obviously really upsetting but we had to accept it.

“That day we had some celebrations at home with our children but since then it’s felt like we’ve been living a kind of lie, acting as if we were married though we weren’t. We wanted to put that right at the earliest opportunity so when we found out that weddings could take place from Saturday, we spoke with Andy to see if we could sort things as soon as possible.

“Our three children have all been baptised at St John’s and the church is the hub of the community, so we felt it was really important to get married there. I heard the church bells ringing for the first time the other day; it was such a lovely sound.”

Andrew, who works at BAE, said: “We’ve been through worrying times so it’s nice to be able to get together for our wedding, even though we’ll only be so small a group. Even though there won’t be many of us there we wanted to get married as quickly as possible; it’s important for us and for our family. It’s a little bit strange to think we could be among the first people to get married in Cumbria.”

The couple – who have three children, Kadie-Leigh, seven, Elsie Louise, five, and Kayan, four – plan to celebrate further with a church blessing ceremony in August for wider family and friends.