News by email Donate


Church News

Longest serving vicar gets to see granddaughter on wedding day despite not being able to speak at service

by Cara Bentley

The Church of England's longest serving vicar had been due to give the address at the wedding service of his granddaughter Lucy and despite not being able to, he has managed to see her and her partner on their big day.  

Rev Jim Cocke, 94, ended his ministry in March, having started at the age of 30.

He served at All Saints' Church in Headington in Oxford from 1957 to 2020, after which he moved to a care home in Dorset. 

He told Premier at the time what the secret was to being able to keep going for so long: "It's not exactly a secret, it's what we call the grace of God, you're kept going by the strength that comes not from inside but that comes from outside."


He was due to speak at the wedding of his granddaughter Lucy and partner Nick Dawnay in April. 

Once the wedding was postponed though, Jim was not able to come and sent the words of his talk to Lucy's father so they could still be read out - he wrote about the importance of partnership in sustaining love and marriage, and when establishing a career. 

The service went ahead on 18th July under social distancing restrictions with only 15 people allowed in the church. 

However, after the ceremony at St Giles' Church near Beaminster in Dorset, Colten Care's Castle View in Poundbury hosted a Covid-safe visit so Rev Cocke could see the couple face-to-face in their wedding attire along with his daughter, Lucy's mother. 


Rev Cocke told PA: "I felt very much included in the special day. I thought Lucy looked so lovely.

"It was a great pity not a lot of people could go to the church because of the restrictions, but I am just so proud of her."

His granddaughter said: "It made my day even more special knowing my grandfather was included."

Rev Cocke still leads Sunday morning hymns and Bible readings at his care home. 

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email