Father marries daughter at his Sidmouth church

Son and father marry Lois at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Sidmouth

IT is not often a father marries his own daughter, but that is just what has happened in Sidmouth.

The Reverend Alistair McKenna, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, married daughter Lois to her fianc� Philip Hill in a service jointly conducted by himself and his son Andrew McKenna, who is pastor of Minister Christian Centre, Cardiff.

“I was nervous marrying my daughter,” said Alistair. “However my son Andrew took most of the service. I only did the vows and the rings. This was an important part but took a relatively short time.”

Phil and Lois first knew each other in Northern Ireland where they attended the same church – Newton Breda Baptist Church – but it was glandular fever that brought them together.

In September 2008 Phil, who has a degree in design, moved to Devon to study for a teaching qualification at Exeter University to teach design and technology at secondary school level.

At this time Lois was at Winchester University studying to become a primary school teacher.

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Her dad said: “We offered to provide accommodation while Phil found a place to live in Exeter.

“It appears that the food and hospitality were to his liking and he asked to stay.

“He travelled into Exeter for his lectures and did his teaching practice in Teignmouth and Axminster secondary schools.”

When Lois contracted glandular fever in January 2009 she was forced to come home to rest for six weeks.

“Lois and Phil connected during this time and romance blossomed. It was unusual that Wendy, my wife, and myself got to know Phil before Lois did.”

Lois’s sister Charis, and friend Fiona Moorhouse were bridesmaids, while best man was Phil’s brother Stephen.

The couple were driven to a reception for 75 guests at Kennaway House, Sidmouth, in a 1935 Sports Foursome Armstrong Siddeley.

Friends from university, Emily-Joy Robinson, Jeremy Clutterbuck and Ed White, performed live music, with Vicki Campbell as soloist.

The couple are honeymooning in Egypt before moving to Basingstoke, Hants, where they both have teaching jobs.

Lois is starting her first teaching position and Phil has had a teaching post for a year.