Wedding delayed as ring-bearing owl goes for a sleep

Darcy the Barn Owl
Image caption The ring-bearing owl had to be rescued with a ladder from the church rafters

A wedding service was delayed when an owl bearing rings fell asleep in the church roof.

Darcy the barn owl was meant to fly down the aisle at Holy Cross Church in Sherston, Wiltshire, and deliver rings to Sonia Cadman and Andrew Matley.

Instead the one-year-old owl flew into the church roof to roost. It took about an hour to get her down.

The Reverend Christopher Bryan said: "We tried all we could to get it down but it just wouldn't budge."

He said the owl seemed "very happy" in the roof and could not be tempted down with a treat.

"It must have been an hour before they got a ladder to rescue it," he said.

'Absolute stitches'

The specially-trained owl had been hired by Ms Cadman for the wedding, which took place at the weekend.

It was a surprise for her fiance, who is interested in falconry.

Darcy was only trusted with replica rings, with the real bands kept in Mr Matley's pocket.

"The owl was meant to deliver the rings to the glove my husband-to-be was wearing," Ms Cadman said.

"But she just flew straight past the glove and straight up into the top of the church and sat in the rafters.

"She shut her eyes and went to sleep."

Despite the delay, Ms Cadman said it had not spoilt the wedding day for the couple, who are from near Burford, in Oxfordshire, "in any shape".

"We thought it was funny and the guests were in absolute stitches," she said.

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