A Kettering couple celebrating 50 years of marriage have had to put on hold their anniversary party until the coronavirus lockdown is over.
Canon Tim Short and his wife Kay opened a bottle of champagne and toasted their fifth decade of marriage as they were joined by their two sons and daughter, their partners and four grandchildren on a Zoom video conference call.
Tim said: "We were all going to get together and have a family party and it would have been lovely to have the family all together in one place. I think we're all quite philosophical about it.
"It will be what what it will be.
"We weren't too upset. We had a family get together on Zoom and we opened a bottle of champagne. We got cards and I bought Kay a little gift from Amazon.
"We'll celebrate later in the summer when the lockdown is over and have a wider gathering with family and friends."
The couple, who are both 76, met in 1968, when Tim, then a trainee vicar arrived late at a Christian conference centre in north Devon where Kay was working.
It was her job to welcome the late-comers and to serve them a meal. The couple sat together for the rest of his week-long stay and after he left, they wrote to each other.
A year later they had both moved to London, Tim becoming a vicar of a parish in Edgware, and were engaged. They were married in Windlesham at Kay's home church on April 4, 1970.
From London the couple moved back to the Lake District where Tim had been brought up.
Employed as a youth worker for six years, by 1977 the couple had three children - Stephen, Elizabeth and David.
In 1978, the young family moved to Northamptonshire with eight years in the parish of Heyford, a further ten years at St James' in Northampton and finally 12 years at St John the Baptist in Kingsthorpe.
Tim, who still officiates at many churches in the county, said: "I'm retired and the church is like grandchildren - I can love them and I can tend to them and then I can hand them back - no more admin for me.
"I also love photography, walking and baking especially making pizza on a Wednesday for the grandchildren."
Kay has been keeping close to her church roots serving as church warden at St Peter and St Paul, Kettering for over a decade, volunteering at the toen soup kitchen and is currently the Diocesan secretary for the Mothers' Union.
Tim added: "The secret to a long marriage is allowing each other to be themselves."
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