Newlyweds become first couple to get married in the UK’s only willow cathedral


If you’ve been to Somerset, you might have visited the famous Willow Cathedral – the only one of its kind in the UK.

The picturesque landmark in Taunton, built in 2011 by artists Steffan Jennings and Sophie Courtier as part of a redevelopment project, has been used for public performances and picnics.

But never for weddings – until now.

David Hallam, 56, and Sharon Fawcett, 58, have become the first-ever couple to tie the knot at the gorgeous spot.

The pair became man and wife in front of 30 guests at the 98ft long green cathedral, made from Somerset willow.

Coach driver David and Sharon, who live nearby, got the idea to marry here when they spotted it on a dog walk and realised it was the perfect location for their ceremony.

They then asked permission from the Long Run Association Committee, which thought it was a great idea.

Thankfully, the couple registered their wedding at Taunton Registry Office in February – just weeks before the UK was put under strict lockdown restrictions.

And despite fears that their dream day may not go ahead, the pair were able to stick to their intended wedding date.

Sharon said: ‘It’s just such a beautiful place. Once the idea came into my head we had to go with it!

‘It’s a popular place for picnics and yoga classes but there’s never been a wedding there at all!

‘Luckily we didn’t have to change to date as Boris said weddings could go ahead last week.’

But to ensure social distancing, the couple had to cut their guest list by half and handed out PPE and hand sanitiser on arrival.

The couple got engaged at Glastonbury, where they also met the celebrant who officiated their wedding.

Sharon said: ‘We got a cider to celebrate and started speaking to the manager of the cider bus.

‘He congratulated us, then handed me a leaflet about how he was a celebrant.

‘He said if we ever needed his services to give him a ring.

‘At the time I just popped it in the bottom of my Glastonbury bag.’

The newlyweds – who both decided to retire during lockdown – will now spend their honeymoon driving to Spain, where they will settle in their retirement villa.