CHESTER Cathedral is claiming an unlikely milestone in its
900-year history - hosting its first hen party.
The bride-to-be, Hannah Lloyd, had always wanted to climb the
cathedral tower's 216 steps and see the view from the top; so her
friend Anne Cody set up a surprise visit as part of a girls' night
She booked an hour-long tour of the cathedral last Friday for
the party of ten, who all work in the Chester diocesan offices. The
trip included ten minutes taking in the scenery from the tower.
Miss Cody said on Tuesday: "We wanted to make the hen do a
little bit more unusual than your normal going out and getting
drunk. We wanted something we could all do together that was
appropriate for the people we work with; so I came up with
"The others were in on it, but it was a surprise for Hannah
until we got there. We parked at Bishop's House; so she had an
inkling; but she wasn't 100 per cent sure until we made our way to
the cathedral. She was . . . impressed with it all."
Miss Lloyd, who was wearing a wedding veil, tiara, and sash,
told the newspaper Chester First: "It's a complete shock.
It's very exciting, and something I've wanted to do for a while. It
feels great to be the first hen party in the cathedral."
Afterwards, the outing followeda more conventional programme,
with a few drinks in the city's bars.
Miss Lloyd will marry her fiancé, Paul Jones, in September, at
St John's, Sandiway, near Northwich, in Cheshire. He has already
had his stag do - a more conventional weekend in Marbella.
A spokeswoman for Chester Cathedral, Amie Williams, said: "We
were delighted to welcome our first hen do to the cathedral. . .
Our ethos of Benedictine hospitality means that we welcome all
kinds of groups. We had to insist on a 'no alcohol' policy at the
top of the tower."