Couple’s emotional trip back to Sprowston to renew wedding vows

After previously crossing the Atlantic to put a headstone on the Sprowston grave of the mother he never knew, next month Jess Varley will make another emotional journey to Norwich to be close his mother when he renews his wedding vows.

Mr Varley, 66, who lives in Canada, will renew his wedding vows with his wife Teresa, 60, at St Mary and St Margaret Church, in Sprowston, in the same church where his mother Stella Varley is buried.

He said: 'We were in Norwich a couple of years ago and I thought how nice it would be for us to renew our vows at St Mary and St Margaret.

'I really think that my mother would have loved it. It is just something I felt I had to do.

'It is just as important to my wife Teresa too - she has said she is going to put her bouquet on my mother's grave.


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'I love my wife so much. We are inseparable. She is a special lady.'

Mr Varley's mother died when she was just 22 at her Sprowston Road home when Mr Varley was only a few months old.

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Mr Varley was adopted by a couple in Enfield and spent much of his life tracing his natural family. He was reunited with his sister, Vivien Pope, when he was in his 20s, and when they found their mother's anonymous grave in 1974 Mr Varley vowed to give his mum a fitting headstone. In August 2006 he visited the city to keep his word and a special memorial service was held for his mother at the church.

Mr Varley, who moved to Ontario in Canada in 1977, said Norwich felt like his home more than anywhere in the world and whenever he visits the city the first thing he does is head to the church to lay flowers on his mother's grave.

Mr and Mrs Varley, who have four children and four grandchildren, married in 1975 at a registry office in Bracknell, Berkshire, and now nearly four decades later Mr Varley said he cannot wait to renew his vows with his wife.

After the service on September 10 there will be a special reception at the Holiday Inn near Norwich International Airport.

• emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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