October 1st, 2016

Special Bromsgrove commitment ceremony held at Primrose

Updated: 11:02 am, May 07, 2015

A PRIMROSE Hospice resident was able to fulfil one of his last wishes when he devoted himself to his partner in a special ceremony.

Tears and laughter filled the room at the commitment and blessing of John Simmons, 77, and Thelma Featherstone, 72, last Friday (April 24).

John suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which has left his lungs only working at 50 per cent capacity.

Dozens of guests gathered at the ceremony, led by the hospice’s chaplain Rev Keith Judson, to see the pair make a pledge before God and committing themselves to each other.

The couple then exchanged rings to symbolise the love between them and the promise they were making to each other.

Their special day was made possible thanks to the hospice’s kind-hearted volunteers who all played their part in making it perfect.

John and Thelma, who have been together for five years, were able to arrive in style thanks to one volunteer who lent them their Bentley for the day, while others did their part in helping with the flower arrangements and a delicious buffet.

Webb’s Garden Centre in Wychbold also donated a flower arch to make it truly beautiful.

The pair asked their guests to donate money to the hospice instead of buying them presents.

John, who has three children, first met Thelma on a cruise when he spotted her across the room and it was love at first sight.

He added he saw Thelma and her sister sat on a table of four with two empty seats and he and a friend went straight over to ask if they could join them.

They then saw each other everyday while on the cruise and when he had to leave he ended up spending £300 phoning her at the various places she went.

Over the next 12 months the pair continued to see each other until eventually they moved in together.

“It was brilliant and still is.” he said.

“Thelma is the best thing in the world for me and I do not know what I would do without her.”

He added: “The Primrose Hospice is such a marvellous place for all of us with terminal illnesses – there is no doom or gloom here, just happiness.

“We could not wish for better people, all the nurses and volunteers are absolutely beautiful.”

John and Thelma celebrate together. 1815006ABR1