Going to the Chapel of Love at St Thomas' Care Home

St Thomas' care home in Basingstoke got the chance to use its newly refurbished chapel for the wedding blessing of a resident's granddaughter.

The care home helped the newly wed bride, Becky Bengey, stage a second ceremony so her grandfather, Bill Marshal, 82, could celebrate the happy occasion with family as he wasn't well enough to attend the wedding ceremony in Gloucestershire.

Activities Co-ordinator, Terri Philpotts, was integral to organising the event. Terri said: "Becky asked me about 3 months ago if it would be possible. I suggested that the chapel may be available and that this would be better for Bill as it is more church-like. I gave her the details of Reverend Cannon Jo Stoker, who does our church services, and our Head Chef, Janet Farrow, set about making a wedding cake. 

Becky agreed that as many residents as possible could take part in her special occasion. Terri and the team decorated a dining room as a wedding reception room with bows on chairs and beautiful floral centre pieces. Residents cheered the newly weds and some took the opportunity to touch the bride's wedding dress.

Venita Couzens, General Manager at the home, said: "Terri has worked so hard to get every thing just right so that it would be a wonderful day for Bill and his family. It must be nearly 100 years since there was a wedding in the chapel and the residents who wanted to be part of it enjoyed every moment. I would encourage more of this kind of activity as it involves all family members and this is so important to our residents."

Mr and Mrs Bengey enjoyed a honeymoon in Cornwall after their wedding blessing and Bill was happy to see them dressed in their finery as man and wife.