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BNPS.co.uk (01202) 558833. <br />
Pic: CorinMesser/BNPS<br />
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Pictured: Parishioners gather to protest in the church grounds. <br />
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A decision to remove the pews inside a 700-year-old church in case obese couples struggle to walk down the narrow aisle has been met with outrage among parishioners.<br />
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The 32 Victorian pews have been put up for sale for £200 each as part of alterations to the inside of Grade II listed St Andrew's Church in the Dorset village of Okeford Fitzpaine.<br />
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The wooden seats that are fastened to the floor will be replaced with modern chairs that can be easily moved to create space when necessary.<br />
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The church authorities state this will make it easier for disabled people and wheelchair users to access the nave as well as allow the congregation to socially distance.<br />
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But they also say that getting rid of the 16 rows of pews would remove a potential 'embarrassment' involving overweight brides and grooms squeezing down the aisle.