5th October 2020

Couple tie the knot in socially-distanced wedding

A ‘magical’ wedding ceremony with close friends and family has taken place for a couple who are receiving care from St Richard’s Hospice.

Janet Kirk, formerly Hope, tied the knot with Trevor Kirk at the Wood Norton Hotel, near Evesham, after a 10-year relationship.

The Evesham couple, who work in the prison service, had postponed their wedding to 2021 due to Mrs Kirk’s planned treatment, following her diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer in January 2020.

However, on finding out in July the cancer had spread to the 58-year-old’s liver and was now untreatable, they rushed to bring the wedding back to August this year.

A bride stands smiling in her lace wedding dress, holding a brightly coloured bouquet of flowers. Behind her is green parkland.

Janet Kirk

Mr Kirk, 59, said: “The wedding day was very magical. Even though the guests had to wear face masks throughout, it did nothing to dampen the pure joy of our wonderful ceremony.

“There was much laughter and many tears throughout what was quite an emotionally charged ceremony. The highlight for me was the moment I first saw my beautiful bride when she entered the room.”

Just 30 guests were allowed to attend the wedding ceremony, due to the social distancing restrictions in place at the time in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ceremony was live-streamed, allowing loved ones to tune in from home – including friends from Australia. A socially-distanced reception followed over the course of a weekend, at the couple’s home.

The newlyweds are supported by St Richard’s Hospice, with both face-to-face and virtual care provided by the charity’s Community Nursing Team.

“Our Clinical Nurse Specialist Karen has always been at the end of the telephone and has been instrumental in Jan’s care,” said Mr Kirk.

“We have always felt she has been outstanding in the way she has kept on top of Jan’s condition and has always been of massive support to not only Janet but myself as well.

“We have also been receiving support from the Family Support Team, with regular telephone contact. This, coupled with the support from the Community Nursing Team, has been increasingly comforting.”

Mrs Kirk said: “I have found the support from St Richard’s, and in particular Karen, has helped to make what is the most emotional and physically challenging period in my life a little more bearable. It comforts me to know that there is someone I can go to when times get tough.”

Two women stand together wearing long, navy blue bridesmaid dresses. They are both smiling and holding brightly coloured bouquets. Behind them is green parkland.

Louise Butler and Kara Hartshorn

Mr Kirk added: “It has helped make a truly difficult and devastating episode in both of our lives a little more bearable. The care that we have received from St Richard’s is second to none.

To celebrate the wedding, it was decided a JustGiving page would be set up to raise funds for the hospice.

The campaign was set up by Mrs Kirk’s maid of honour Louise Butler, and with help from bridesmaid Kara Hartshorn, alongside many friends and family, more than £2,200 has been raised.

Mr Kirk said: “I can only say that we are humbled by the amount raised by our wonderful family and friends.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/JanandTrev