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Surprise, surprise

13 September 2013

MORE than 100 people were gathered in St George's, Barrow, in Carlisle diocese, for the baptism of baby Cody, son of Reece Gooding and Nicola Roach, and baby Nathan, son of Miss Roach's sister and brother-in-law, Claire and Lee Tooze. At the end of the service, just as the congregation were about to be served tea and coffee, they were told that if they stayed on for another 15 minutes they would be guests at the wedding of Cody's parents.

It came as a big surprise, and only four people, other than the couple and the Revd Joanna Northey, had known about it in advance: Miss Roach's parents, and the Toozes. Mr Gooding had to ask his brother, Michael, to be best man, and Miss Roach to ask her sister, Joanne, to be bridesmaid. Miss Roach quickly picked up a bouquet, and Mr Gooding donned a buttonhole, and they were ready for the further ceremony.

It had come about because the Rural Dean of Barrow, the Revd Gary Cregeen, had raised the idea when he met the couple to talk about christening Cody: "Wouldn't it be good if you could get married at the same time?" After he had said it, the two of them could not get the thought out of their heads, Mr Gooding says. "It was such a great idea, and we knew we really wanted to do it."

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