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Ring’s third time of asking

15 February 2012

by Paul Wilkinson

Band luck: Dave and Chris Fletcher on their wedding day, at St Giles’s, Durham KEITH BLUNDY/AEGIES ASSOCIATES

Band luck: Dave and Chris Fletcher on their wedding day, at St Giles’s, Durham KEITH BLUNDY/AEGIES ASSOCIATES

TWO newlyweds plan to renew their wedding vows this weekend, after a trail of tribulations dogged the start of their married life.

The couple, Dave and Chris Fletcher, married in St Giles’s, Durham, last May, but, within days, Mrs Fletcher devel­oped an allergic reaction to nickel in her white-gold wedding ring. It hurt so much that she had to take it off, despite a promise never to remove it.

By August, the couple had found a plain 18-carat yellow-gold replace­ment, and arranged a service at St Giles’s to bless it. But, an hour before the ceremony, Mrs Fletcher received a text from her husband that he was in A & E, after slicing open his thumb with a craft knife while putting up a shelf.

Now they are hoping for better things on Sunday when, as part of the 900th-anniversary celebra­tions of St Giles’s, their marriage will be blessed by the Bishop of Jarrow, the Rt Revd Mark Bryant.

“We had spent ages looking for the right ring, and I was really pleased with the one we found,” said Mrs Fletcher, who is 48, and works for the charity Age UK. “But, on honey­moon, my finger started itching and became very sore. Back home, a chem­ist told me it could be soap trapped underneath from washing. I tried all sorts of creams, but to no avail.

“My friends told me to take it off, but I said: ‘No’. I promised I would never remove it — it was a symbol of Dave’s love for me — but I had to in the end. And, as soon as I did, my finger started getting better. I was devastated. I didn’t know how to tell him, but when I plucked up the courage, he was fine and just said: ‘We’d better get another one, then.’

“The jeweller was brilliant. She said it was quite common, and offered a straight swap.”

Mrs Fletcher told how their plans to have the new ring blessed were scuppered when Mr Fletcher, aged 51, a teacher, tried some DIY. “I couldn’t believe it when I got the text. Instead of being in church, we spent the day in casualty having stitches.

“We are hoping that this weekend goes according to plan; we are going to give a little talk about what mar­riage means as newlyweds. This is really important to me. It had taken all our lives to find each other, and to have the ring blessed again by the Bishop will mean a lot. It means it will carry all those promises that Dave made on our wedding day.

“One thing is for sure: there’ll certainly be no DIY beforehand.”

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