Published: 16:10, 24 March 2020
| Updated: 16:14, 24 March 2020
A Sheppey couple have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary by renewing their wedding vows.
There were doubts whether Jean and Bill Ashworth's ceremony, which took place on Thursday, would happen amid the continued outbreak of coronavirus.
However plans for grandson Kristopher, who got married in Australia to wife Samantha in February, were scuppered as they got stuck in Japan and had to return home.
It would have been the first time the pair would have seen Kristopher in three years.
Poor health meant they could not get out to the 23-year-old's wedding in Sydney in February.
They were due to have their marriage blessed at the same time as his grandparents had their vows renewed.
In the end it was not to be and the couple's sons – Mark and Andrew – were the only guests allowed at the service held at St Michael's Church, High Street, Sittingbourne, where the pair were first married. It was led by Rev Lesley Jones.
Mrs Ashworth, of Sheerness, said: "It was absolutely beautiful. The vicar really put herself out for us.
"We could not have asked for anything better, it was lovely and everything we asked for.
"We had a service, we sang hymns and Rev Jones blessed Kristopher and Samantha.
"There were 40 people coming to the church but there were only five of us in the end.
"I'd like to thank Rev Jones for all she did in organising it."
Rev Lesley Jones said: "Nothing was going to get in the way of Mr and Mrs Ashworth renewing their vows.
"They were so determined as the news came out and the service changed and changed again.
"At the end of the day two people who have been together for 60 years had the day they wanted and that was what it was all about.
"The church may have been empty but it was a marvellous afternoon."
The couple also received a card from the Queen to congratulate them on being married for 60 years.
A celebration party is planned for when the couple from Australia can safely travel to the country.
More by this authorEllis Stephenson