What follows is an account from May Edwards of church life from during the Second World War, and specifically, trying to get married during it. We are grateful to May for providing these memories. If you have a story of church life from a while ago, please do get in touch so we can share them here.
Memories of the marriage of Sidney Edwards and Esther May Hutchings
at the Holy Redeemer Church.
It was in 1944, in the time of the Rev. Gerald Knight, that the Banns for our marriage were read in preparation for our wedding in June. However, it was war time and nobody ever knew what was going to happen. Two weeks prior to our wedding day, I knew Sid was in confined conditions and had heard no word from him. The Vicar, together with the family decided it would be best to postpone the wedding. What I didn’t know was that Sid, with so many others, was preparing for the D-Day Invasion.
Thankfully Sid remained safe and our Banns were read again for our wedding, which was to be held on Easter Monday, 2nd April 1945. Guests were few because of the constrictions of war, with our men folk away fighting and food rationed. The reception was held at my home in Leonard Road. Shortly after the wedding, Sid was sent to Egypt where he stayed for a year before returning; war was over and he was demobbed.
Before the war, the Church had been surrounded by substantial metal fencing and two sets of metal gates, all of which had been removed and reused to help with the war effort. There were no seats outside at this time. During the war, church services continued throughout, with our servicemen attending with their families when they were home on leave.
Sid and I remained active members of the Church Family, Sid as Sunday School Teacher for 25 years and Vicar’s Churchwarden for 15 years. I enjoyed decorating the church for services, festivities and weddings as well as working with a great team of ladies preparing and serving refreshments for the Harvest Supper every year, coffee mornings, garden parties and many other Church events.
Sid and I stayed happily married for 51 years and remained members of the Holy Redeemer all of that time.
If you have a memory you would like to share, please contact the Church Office.