London bomb attack fails to stop couple walking down aisle
A couple's wedding day plans were plunged into chaos when their choice of venue was caught at the centre of the Parsons Green terror lockdown yesterday morning.
The Bishop of Kensington Dr Graham Tomlin revealed frantic efforts were made to find a new place for the pair to tie the knot after a vast police cordon was installed around St Dionis Church.
The explosion on a District Line train passing through Parsons Green station had prompted a mass evacuation of the area, which saw the church and other buildings sealed off.
Nuptial bliss was salvaged for the prospective man and wife, however, as All Saints Church near Putney Bridge, west London, was made available for them to use.
The Rev Tim Stillwell conducted the ceremony and said the couple, who had asked not to be named, stayed calm during the episode.
He said: "It was due to take place in our church, St Dionis, but we suddenly became part of a police cordon and it was no-access to any areas.
"With six hours notice we had to move it from St D's to All Saints down the road and it was only half-an-hour late.
"It was supposed to take place at 3pm and they walked down the aisle at 3.30pm."
The couple had to get permission from the register office before the ceremony could go ahead in a new location.
Mr Stillwell said he had never had to resort to such measures before and had a matter of hours to secure the permission, swinging into action at around 9am.
After they were given the go-ahead, guests were contacted and the wedding was once again on track, he said.
"Fortunately it was a small wedding, it was a few family members, so it was quite easy to get the word around, we could communicate quite quickly," he said.
"The couple were very relaxed and laidback - I was apologising so profusely, saying 'I'm so, so sorry', very conscious of spoiling their day, but they totally understand.
"They kept saying 'these things happen, it's not your fault', they were very laidback.
"It went very well and I think it's a microcosm of life - you can celebrate and express joy amid devastation and grief."