A REQUIEM mass is to be held for one of Wantage’s most famous former residents — poet Sir John Betjeman.

The Wantage branch of the Betjeman Society has arranged the mass to mark the 30th anniversary of the poet’s death.

It will be led by Canon Fr John Salter, president of the society’s Wantage branch, and held at Wantage Parish Church, off Market Place, at 11am on Saturday.

John Betjeman, right, and his family lived in Wantage from 1951 to 1972, during which time he was a sidesman at the church and his Collected Poems were published, making him the best-selling poet of all time.

He was Poet Laureate from October 1972 until his death in Cornwall on May 19, 1984.

He wrote two poems about Wantage — Wantage Bells and On Leaving Wantage in 1972.

Pat Mattimore, membership secretary of the Wantage branch of the Betjeman Society, said: “Everybody is welcome to attend this service.”