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Orford couple keep their wedding in the family
2:20pm Friday 14th February 2014 in News
HE hit the headlines back in 1949 by marrying his sister - and on Saturday he was at it again - this time marrying his great niece.
But Monsignor William Dalton was merely carrying out a family tradition - coming out of retirement aged 86 to perform the ceremony for Fran Hawley and her new husband Nick Forrester.
Affectionately known as Father Bill to the family he has carried out marriages for the Hawley family since he was first ordained in 1949.
Fran’s mum Rita explains: “He was my mother’s brother and he got ordained in June 1949 and he married my mum and dad soon after. In the Warrington Guardian it had the headline ‘brother marries sister’.
“He married myself and my husband Frank and married one of my sisters and Her husband too and baptised our children.”
Nick and Fran, of Park Road, Orford, who first met 10 years ago while working together, got engaged on New Years Eve in 2012 on a skiing trip to Italy.
And as soon as they came back Fran knew that she wanted Father Bill to conduct her ceremony.
Fran, aged 28, said: “It’s more sentimental because of the history and I know he married nan and granddad and he has also baptised me.
Father Bill was based at a seminary in Upholland for much of his life before becoming the parish priest at St Thomas Canterbury Church in St Helens before retiring.
Nick, aged 29 and Fran tied the knot at St Benedict’s Church on Saturday.