All foreign weddings at St Paul's chapel on Rhodes island have been banned
All foreign weddings at the monastery of St Paul on Rhodes have now been banned by the island’s top churchman, Bishop Kyrillos, because of the X-rated photo of Carly Lunn, 34, in her bridal gown on her knees in front of bridegroom Matthew Lunn.
The photograph, posted online by 27-year-old Mr Lunn, went viral and came to the attention of the island’s religious leaders who were said to be “outraged” by the image.
Other couples planning their dream wedding are heartbroken.
Suzanne Sparkles, 33, from Chorley in Lancashire, had already spent £40,000 on a ceremony with fiancé Steve Arnold, 38.
Matthew Lunn posted an explicit photo of himself and his wife, Carly, in front of the chapel
Shame on those two for the damage they have done. Would they have done the same in their homeland in front of a British chapel, a Jewish temple, or Muslim mosque?
They booked their big day two years ago.
Ms Sparkles said: “I’m absolutely devastated that these idiots have spoilt my dream wedding. I can’t believe what they did. We have 52 guests coming from the UK and have booked to stay for a week.
“I don’t want to have to get married on a beach. We can’t change the location because we have spent so much money on it.”
She added: “My message to the people of Rhodes would be that the British are not all like this couple.”
Gas engineer Daniel Gaynor, 32, and vet nurse, Mandy Jackson, 30, from Rotherham, South Yorks, also hit out at the “low-life” Lunns.
Mr Gaynor said: “We have been planning our wedding for two-and-a-half years. My partner was in tears all last night all because of this stupid immature disrespectful couple.”
Account manager Natalie Farrell, 32, from Coventry, due to marry Paul Veasey, said: “It was so trashy and disrespectful.”
Giorgos Eleftheriou, president of the Lindos community on Rhodes, said: “We cherish our traditions and sanctity of our religious sites. We cannot allow this disgusting behaviour.
Bishop Kyrillos of Rhodes, the island's top clergyman, was reportedly outraged by the act
“I have had hundreds of soon-to-be brides from Britain and all over the world calling me today in tears because of this decision.
“Shame on those two for the damage they have done. Would they have done the same in their homeland in front of a British chapel, a Jewish temple, or Muslim mosque? They’d have been beheaded by Muslims!”
The couple, from Birmingham, said the photo, taken by a close relative of Mr Lunn, reflected their “unique” humour.
Other relatives said the family was disgusted.
St Paul's chapel is a popular wedding venue for many British tourists
Mrs Lunn said they had always planned to do the photo after their wedding last month.
She added: “It was something we said we’d do for a joke. We expected a lot of laughs and jokes from people.”
A local resident said: “Even though it was a simulated act, it defiled the church. The priest, church and the mayor had no choice but to say that there will be no further weddings – 99 per cent of them are British.
“People are outraged and talking about suing the couple. They want them to publicly apologise to Rhodes and particularly the church.”
The loss of weddings could be a major blow to a local economy that is highly dependent on tourism.
Mr Eleftheriou said he was now looking at relocating other weddings to elsewhere on the island.
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