As an Aston Villa fan, Colin Howells had always noticed St Peter and St Paul in Aston, Birmingham, which was opposite the football ground, but he hadn’t thought about marrying there because he didn’t really go to church.
But one day as he drove past the church with fiancée, Flo, he said to her, ‘It would be nice to get married there.’
They decided to stop by and found the Revd Andy Jolley in his church office. The couple said Andy made them feel so welcome, they decided to go to the church’s service to see what they were like.
They received a warm reception at the church. ‘Everyone opened their arms and welcomed us,’ says Colin.
Sadly Colin developed cancer shortly after deciding to get married, but he and Flo were able to carry on going to church and became more and more involved in church life.
On their wedding day, when their vows were exchanged, the promise to stay together ‘in sickness and in health’ was particularly poignant. Colin had already undergone chemotherapy before getting married and surgery was imminent after the honeymoon.
Thankfully Colin has been in remission for some time now and the couple have carried on going to church long after their wedding day.
The Revd Andy Jolley said, ‘We were so glad that Colin and Flo chose us for their wedding service and that they have become such a vital part of the church family, as honorary treasurer and leading an Alpha course which helps people find out more about the Christian faith. They have helped to welcome many other new people to the church.’