A former church, half-submerged in Rutland Water is opening its doors once again to wedding services after more than half a century.
Anglian Water have been granted a licence to hold civil ceremonies in the building, once St Matthew's Church at Normanton. The last wedding took placed in 1954, between Lawrence Plumb and Margaret Hart.
Kevin Appleton, Anglian Water's Visitor Services Manager, said, "We'd like to bring the church back to life and use it for what it was meant for."
"It is a beautiful location and looking out on the water today with the flat calm makes it even more dramatic. There's 3,500 acres of water out there."
The first wedding to be booked is that of Libby Arkell and Nigel Hume in July 2011. The couple are keen photographers and cycle around Rutland Water once a week. Libby said, Nigel has threatened to canoe across. Whether he'll really do that I don't know."
Despite appearing very small inside, the building can seat around 60 guests with a natural aisle leading from the main door to the front of the church.
The Rutland Belle river boat docks just outside the church every hour during the summer months so, if they wish, the wedding party could arrive at the ceremony via water.
The church was deconsecrated and almost demolished when the reservoir was built in the 1970s, but a local campaign by The Normanton Tower Trust saved the building in 1972, although radical alterations were needed to save it from the rising waters.
A wall was built around the lower part of the church and the floor was raised by around 10 feet to keep it above the level of the reservoir. A new door was then added in place of a window and a causeway built to link the church with the mainland.
Since 1986 the building has been used as a visitor centre and museum attracting around 30,000 visitors a year. It is open from April to September. For more information visit www.anglianwater.co.uk/leisure
The first church was built on the site in the late 14th Century by the Normanville family, from who the present day village of Normanton takes its name. In 1764 the original Nave and Chancel were demolished and rebuilt by the Heathcote family.
By 1826 the church tower has become unsafe. Architects Thomas Cundy and his son designed a new tower, modelled on that of St. John's in Westminster. In 1911 the Nave and Chancel were rebuilt for a second time as a memorial to the first Earl of Ancaster.
After The First World War, Normanton Estate was broken up and sold. The Hall was demolished, the Rectory became a private house, but the church remained.
In 1970 the 'Empingham Reservoir Act' was passed and was decided that the church should be deconsecrated. The next year bodies were exhumed from the churchyard and the crypt was cleared. Memorial plaques and the altar slab were relocated.