Related to this section ...

Barn owl surprise for Lake District wedding service

Guests at a Lake District wedding had a hoot of time thanks to a surprise appearance by an owl during the service.

Gavin and Becky May and the Rev Shanthi Thompson with Daisy the Barn Owl - Photo courtesy of to all but the bride, groom, vicar and bestman, Daisy the barn owl was brought in to deliver the rings at the service at St Oswald’s Grasmere at the weekend.

Bride Becky May came up with the idea and she and her husband Gavin decided to spring the surprise on more than 60 people in the church.

Gavin, 37, from Cheshire explained: “I have always been interested in birds of prey and have enjoyed quite a few days out with various companies which specialise in them.

“We found out that this wedding service was offered and Becky thought it would be a great way to have the rings delivered.”

Best man Mike Jones had to pretend he’d lost the rings and turn away from the congregation in order to put on a special glove and then encourage the British barn owl to fly from the back of the church.

“It was funny to hear the gasps start from the back of the church as Daisy made her flight,” Gavin added. “She did a great job, delivering the rings which were tied to one of her legs by ribbon and then she flew back to her handler at the back of the church.”

The Rev’d Shanthi Thompson, Priest-in-Charge of Staveley, Ings and Kentmere officiated at the wedding.

She said: “I’ve done plenty of weddings but never one with a feathered guest in the congregation. Daisy certainly put on a show for everyone in the church and carried out her ring-bearing duties with some flourish. It’s certainly one wedding I won’t forget.”

The avian theme continued later in the wedding, with guests able to view more owls and an eagle at the couple’s reception venue the Langdale Chase Hotel.


Note: Please credit attached photo ‘Courtesy of’.

For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager on 07469 153658, 01228 815401 or at

  • Diocesan Director of Education announces retirement Posted Tuesday 10 September ...