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Father Alex Anaman is new Diss Catholic priest

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Anyone who shivered when the first cold mornings of the autumn arrived this week should try Chicago.

Father Alex Anaman, the new Diss Catholic priest, has lived and studied in America’s “Windy City” and, when he felt the need for a change in his ministry, he had no intention of experiencing again the coldest temperatures and heaviest snows for 100 years that brought work and schools to a standstill.

He wanted some escape from the violence and addictions he had witnessed in America.

Father Alex Anaman outside St Henry Morse Church in Diss. Picture by Victoria Scheer.
Father Alex Anaman outside St Henry Morse Church in Diss. Picture by Victoria Scheer.

“I went to see my bishop and said I needed a change,” he said. “I wanted to go away for some time and then go back to Ghana.”

Less than 24 hours after arriving in Diss from his home country, the much-travelled priest was taking his first service at St Henry Morse Church.

“It is a lovely community, serene and beautiful,” he said.

Fr Alex, 56, was educated at a Catholic school, where one of his teachers was a Dutch missionary priest who inspired his thoughts of entering the church.

Years of study followed and, after he being ordained in 1992, he spent his first four years in a parish of 34 towns and villages.

He was later seconded to the Ghanian military, where service as a chaplain and counsellor took him to many of the world’s war zones.

“My faith did not waver, but, when you see the atrocities, you do wonder why,” he said.

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Fr Alex will be joined at Diss on Sunday, September 22 by the Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Hopes.

The service will be followed by a barbecue.

Fortunately, the weather forecast, for someone who dislikes the cold, is good.

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