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EDITIONS
 Saturday, 21 December, 2002, 11:13 GMT
'Ghost village' hosts wedding
St Giles
The wedding will be blessed in the church of St Giles
An isolated Wiltshire church is the venue for a wedding blessing for the first time since 1943.

John Syme, 54, and Sylke Woods, 47, are to walk down the aisle of St Giles church in the deserted village of Imber, in the heart of Salisbury Plain, on Saturday.

The village was evacuated 59 years ago by the MoD to make way for vital war training - but none of the residents ever returned.

The Army told people they could come back after the war but the village, complete with a church and the Old Bell Inn pub, is still regularly used for military exercises.

There was nowhere else we could really have the marriage blessed

John Syme

Mr Syme from Warminster, Wiltshire, is one of the many people who have campaigned to have the exile lifted and has relatives buried in Imber's Baptist graveyard.

But the number of villagers making a claim on their homes has dwindled year by year and now there are only a handful left.

Mr Syme an independent town, district and county councillor said: "We are very pleased to be allowed to hold the blessing there.

"It's a very special place and we thought there was nowhere else we could really have the marriage blessed."

He and Miss Woods are marrying at Warminster Register Office and then Reverend David Belcher was due to bless the union at St Giles.


Click here to go to BBC Wiltshire
See also:

07 Dec 02 | England
31 Oct 02 | England
31 Oct 02 | England
26 Mar 02 | UK
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