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Wedding day joy for Elaine and Paul

HAPPY couple Elaine and Paul Medley enjoyed a magical wedding day thanks to the support of the St Luke's team, Mark Newitt who conducted the ceremony…and a special dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury!

Elaine has cancer and is currently receiving support on the St Luke's In Patient Centre.

And when the Handsworth couple decided that they finally wanted to marry after more than 20 years together, our team put all their efforts into making it a day for the whole family to remember.

With Sheffield Register Office and the city’s churches all closed by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, our chaplaincy team had to apply to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Facility Office for a special licence for the ceremony to go ahead in the St Luke’s Garden Room.

“It’s all been absolutely wonderful and if it hadn’t been for St Luke’s it would never have happened,” said a delighted Elaine, a former nursing auxiliary.

“After more than 20 years together, I don’t think we’re going to part with each other now and we just felt now was the right time to finalise things and make sure that everything was properly done.

“It was something we’ve always wanted to do but it always seemed to get placed on the back burner.

“I’d been told that if I got to St Luke’s I should mention getting married there but I never thought it would happen because of COVID-19 and everything coming to a standstill.

“But when it was mentioned again, St Luke’s set the ball rolling, we spoke chaplain Mike Reeder who contacted all the right people and it’s just amazing that it’s actually happened.”

With the whole of our team working together, staff prepared the garden room for the ceremony, while our catering department also went into action to create the couple a wedding cake.

Between them, Elaine and former police officer Paul have nine children and nine grandchildren, though only a small party of guests were able to attend the ceremony, with everybody observing strict social distancing guidelines and wearing protective equipment.

“I have beaten cancer twice but now it has spread and I know there is nothing more that can be done and that’s why this day meant so much to us all,” said Elaine.

“St Luke’s is like a wonderful friendly hotel where nothing is too much trouble for anybody.

“I must admit that I was frightened to come in as I didn’t know what to expect but from the minute I walked through the door everybody made me feel so very welcome.

“The fact that their support made our wedding happen is absolutely amazing and it’s a day none of us will ever forget.”

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