Derby Road Baptist Church set on fire on day of Watford couple Bradley and Ambre Blewitt's wedding

Bradley and Ambre Blewitt, whose wedding day proved a day they'll never forget for all sorts of reasons.

'I guess not many people can say they got married in a crime scene'

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A young Watford couple managed to get married at the weekend despite their church being set on fire and their wedding night hotel flooding.

Ambre Read was about to have her make-up done on Saturday when she was told the Derby Road Baptist Church was ablaze.

At first she thought someone was playing a prank on her but soon learned it was real and the beginning of what was about to become an unorthodox special day.

The 20-year-old said: "I was running around trying to get ready and then we got this phone call telling us the church was on fire.

"I thought it was a joke. I was just about to have my make up done and was stressed enough.

"We then had to quickly decide whether to postpone the wedding or not, which I knew wasn’t an option. We had family coming down from Liverpool and we had gone through the stress of organising the day for months.

"When I found out no one had been hurt I knew the day had to go ahead. I had a mini breakdown for half an hour while everyone ran around trying to organise an alternative venue.

"It was a relief to hear that people got my wedding cake out of the church on time."

The pastor from the couple’s church, Tom Forryan, found an alternative venue that was prepared to hold the ceremony.

He said: "It was important to us and them that the day went ahead. I am so pleased they got married."

Mrs Blewitt and her husband, Bradley, got married at Grace Baptist Church in north Watford and then travelled to Derby Road Baptist church to sign the register.

Mrs Blewitt, a trainee teacher, continued: "It was important to us to have Tom conduct the ceremony, as we have been going to that church for a year and a half, and he knows us well.

"After the service, me, Bradley and two witnesses had to go back to Derby Road and wait outside the crime scene until police let us in to sign the register.

"We were told we had 20 minutes to be in and out of the church. We then had to re-do our vows and sign registers even though it was dark, there were no electrics and we could barely stand the smell of the smoke that lingered.

"I guess not many people can say they got married in a crime scene."

The couple, who have been together almost three years, were hit with another obstacle when they found out the Premier Inn they were due to stay in had flooded.

Mr Blewitt got a call at 10pm to say the hotel guests had been evacuated and they would not be able to check in.

Mrs Blewitt said: "After the drama of the morning I didn’t worry about this. I left it to Bradley to find somewhere else for us to stay, and we ended up at the Jurys Inn."

Watford Observer:

The damage inside Derby Road Baptist Church

Reflecting on the day, Mrs Blewitt said: "When I first heard about the fire I worried the day would not go ahead. Thanks to everyone's support the day went ahead and was a great success.

"People keep saying to us if we can get through all the obstacles of last Saturday we can get through anything.

"It saddens me to think someone could do that to our church. I have no idea why anyone would want to do it, but it is upsetting."

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