Man with terminal brain tumour travels from America to renew his wedding vows at Chesterfield's Crooked Spire church

A Chesterfield ex-pat who has a brain tumour has travelled from America to renew his wedding vows at the town’s Crooked Spire church.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 2:03 pm

Marc Fretwell and his wife Merri tied the knot at Ringwood Hall, Brimington in 2006 and had their wedding blessed at Chesterfield’s landmark church the following day.

The couple will renew their vows on Monday, June 27, at a ceremony attended by family members, including their son Tristan, 13. The party will include Marc’s sister, Joanne, who lives in Chesterfield, his eldest son, Joseph, 35, and a dozen cousins.

Marc, 53, said: “We decided that while we were with family in Chesterfield for the blessing, we’d also celebrate my mother’s life. My mum, Barbara, died in her sleep while she was in America in 2011 and we didn’t have a service for her then. Mum used to come over to North Carolina and spend three months at a time with us and when her visa expired she’d go back and be with my sister.”

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Marc and Merri Fretwell had their wedding blessed at Chesterfield Crooked Spire church.

Following Monday’s service the family will have a few drinks in Chesterfield.

Marc, whose brain cancer was diagnosed 13 years ago and is on palliative care, said: “I walk with a cane and my eyes aren't that good, but apart from that I feel awesome. The cancer is not growing which is a good thing but it’s not going down. I’m alive and that’s all that matters.”

He is making the most of his family’s stay in England and has arranged several outings including a visit to York Railway Museum (today) and an overnight stay in the city. The family are planning to spend a few days in Chesterfield, have a trip to Bakewell and go to London for a week. Marc said: “I’m trying to get in as much as possible that my wife and son can enjoy.

"It’s been awesome having my two sons here – they last saw each other two years ago in North Carolina.”

Marc Fretwell with his wife Merri and their 13-year-old son Tristan.

Marc, Merri and Tristan live in a home on top of a mountain in the idyllic tourist resort Lake Lure where the film Dirty Dancing and Last of the Mohicans were shot.

Marc and Merri Fretwell got married at Ringwood Hall Hotel, Brimington, in 2006.
Marc and Merri Fretwell will renew their wedding vows at Chesterfield's Crooked Spire Church on Monday, June 27, 2022.