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Sunday, 17 December, 2000, 10:49 GMT
Madonna's toilet roll wedding gift
Dornoch Cathedral
Susan Brown serves at Dornoch Cathedral
Candles, special blessings and a sprinkle of holy water are the typical religious expressions of a man and a woman becoming husband and wife.

But none of these symbols will feature at the showbiz wedding of Madonna and Guy Ritchie.

The modern-thinking woman minister who will oversee the happy couple's exchange of vows in the Highlands on Friday will present them with two toilet rolls.

The strange convention has become part of Susan Brown's marriage services.

She makes sure all her couples are given the novel gift.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie
Their wedding will put Dornoch on the world map
Ms Brown explained: "The toilet roll is long and strong, which is what I hope their marriage will be.

"Just the other day I was talking to the mother of a bride I married some time ago and she told me her daughter still has her toilet rolls."

Ms Brown will marry Madonna, 42, and her 32-year-old English film director fiancÚ just days before Christmas in the small Scottish town of Dornoch.

The handing out of symbolic toilet rolls comes as no surprise to some in the church who have dubbed Ms Brown "Holy Spice" because of her modern approach to religion.

To many in her small but growing congregation she has been a shining star since her appointment to Dornoch in February 1998.

Modern-day cleric

She has been known to rollerskate down the aisle during family services at the cathedral in order to keep the attention of the children.

And she has introduced a modern-day bent to the traditional nativity.

The Christmas play is being done Big Brother-style and involves the local teenagers expelling one of their number.

It is even understood that the down-to-earth cleric has given the Mr and Mrs Ritchie-to-be a free hand in deciding their vows.

The showbiz wedding has catapulted Ms Brown into a spotlight she could never have imagined.

The 41-year-old is a coal miner's daughter from Penicuik in Midlothian.

The University of Edinburgh graduate was a former assistant at St Giles Cathedral in Scotland's capital and she was the first woman in the UK to take charge of a cathedral.

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11 Dec 00 | Scotland
Newly webbed site for Madonna fans
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