THE ‘focus’ was on the guests at a church wedding when a couple paused to take a ‘selfie’ just moments after being pronounced man and wife.

In what was a first for Chorley United Reformed Church, the wedding of Karl Eastham and Steph Parkinson was halted immediately after they had made their vows so that the couple could use a ‘selfie stick’ to record one the most memorable moments of their lives with the 150 attending in the background .


Karl and Steph were keen to capture the atmosphere of the day and to have a permanent record of that special moment when they really were ‘newlywed’.

They had wanted to include a ‘selfie’ moment from their first wedding plans, but weren’t sure how the minister would react or if it was even allowed.

They needn’t have worried, the minister of Chorley United Reformed Church, Rev Martin Whiffen, was delighted to incorporate their wishes.

He said: “We encourage couples to create their own wedding service, saying vows and including prayers that are personal to them.

“When Karl and Steph asked me I didn’t see the problem and they chose the moment just after the vows, immediately after their first wedded kiss to take their picture.

“It’s great when couples choose to include something quirky or off the wall to make their day special.”

Rev Whiffen was so taken by the idea of having a ‘selfie’ during the service, that he shared the moment himself by using his smartphone to take a photo of his own.

“I just thought, ‘what the heck’ and took a picture of them taking their selfie,” he said.

It’s not the first time the church has hit the headlines.

In 2012 it became the first in the UK to advertise itself on Google Earth, by painting a huge cross big enough to be seen from the sky.

The white design on the church car park, which measures 25m by 10m was created specifically to be picked up by Google Earth cameras.