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Priest swaps bustling African capital for sleepy Norfolk parish

PUBLISHED: 11:34 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:46 17 September 2019

Father Alex Anaman at the Church of St Henry Morse in Diss. Picture: Judith Tooth

Father Alex Anaman at the Church of St Henry Morse in Diss. Picture: Judith Tooth

Judith Tooth

A priest has swapped Accra, the bustling capital of Ghana, for a new parish in the sleepy Norfolk town of Diss.

Father Alex Anaman at the Church of St Henry Morse in Diss. Picture: Judith ToothFather Alex Anaman at the Church of St Henry Morse in Diss. Picture: Judith Tooth

Father Alex Anaman arrived in Norfolk from the West Africa country in August and spent a month at St John's Cathedral in Norwich before moving to the Church of St Henry Morse in Diss, where he has replaced Father David Bagstaff who has moved to Bury St Edmunds.

For the past three years Father Alex had been parish priest of St Catherine's in Ghana's capital, a parish with 2,000 families but hre is looking forward to working in a small community.

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He said: "I've lived in cities where life is always very fast. Norwich felt very calm and peaceful, and here it's extraordinary. I'm enjoying it very much."

Diss Catholic priest leaves for new role in Suffolk

Father Alex grew up in Elmina in Ghana's central region. He was ordained in 1992 and worked as an associate priest before being seconded to the country's armed forces, becoming the senior Catholic chaplain. During this time he studied hospital chaplaincy in San Diego and New York, and completed his doctorate in theology and ministry in Chicago.

He said: "I asked my bishop for a three-year sabbatical because I wanted to have a broader experience, to be away from my country and from military life, for fresh air. My first impression of Diss? It's brilliant! The community here is a real family, and I feel very welcome."

The parish of the Most Holy Trinity, Diss, is made up of the Church of St Henry Morse, Shelfanger Road, Diss and the Carmel at Quidenham. The parish covers many surrounding villages in Norfolk and Suffolk as well as the town of Diss itself.

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