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Collective effort clears snow for couple’s big day

01 March 2018


The ringers at St Cuthbert’s, Benfieldside, after they helped to clear the snow

The ringers at St Cuthbert’s, Benfieldside, after they helped to clear the snow

A COUPLE were married in County Durham on Wednesday thanks to parishioners who came out in force to clear the snow that blocked the route to the church.

The bride and groom, Rebecca McKenzie and Daniel Hodgson, were all ready to be married at St Cuthbert’s, Benfieldside, on Wednesday, by the Vicar, the Revd Martin Jackson, when the heavy weather settled in and made roads in the area impassable.

After Mr Jackson called for help through social media, 40 to 50 members of the community turned out to help clear the way to the church. The help included a tractor and a Land Rover with a snow plough attached, which made clearing the snow on the steep hill relatively light work.

Mr Jackson said on Thursday that his parish in the north of the county often experienced “pretty extreme weather”, but an event such as this was rare.

He said: “A friend of mine suggested putting an appeal on Facebook, and then the whole thing seemed to go viral. . . It ended up being seen by 28,000 people.”

It had been a “great collective effort”, he said. The “tractor did a lot of the work”, but the situation was made more difficult by continued snowfall.

The wedding did not quite begin on time, but the bell-ringers, who helped to clear the snow, “did not express much annoyance”.

As for the new-found fame of St Cuthbert’s, the Vicar said that he was “just hoping to get back to work”.

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