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East Anglian deacons celebrate 25 years of service

Nine Diocese of East Anglia deacons, who were all ordained together by Bishop Alan Clark in St John's Cathedral in Norwich on May 25, 1991, are celebrating their Silver Jubilees this year.

Seven are still serving in East Anglia. They are: Bill Dimelow ' Costessey, Ian Hatfield ' St George's, Norwich, Paul Hirons ' Walsingham Shrine, Ray Howlings (ret'd) ' St George's, Norwich, Robert Joyce '(ret'd) ' OLEM, Cambridge, Mike Vipond ' Framlingham and Mike Wells ' Beccles. Secondo Lucca is now in Vincenza, Italy andSi Wells has since transferred to a diocese in New Zealand .

There were 20 deacons ordained together and the others have sadly died.

Sunday morning Mass was offered for Bill Dimelow and his wife Dorothy on May 22, at Our Lady & St Walstan parish, Costessey, three days before the actual anniversary, and a reception held afterwards in the Garden Room with a celebration cake was attended by a large number of parishioners.

Parish priest, Fr David Ward, said: "Bill has lived in the parish for many, many years and knows all of the parishioners ' and most of the people living in Costessey! He has constantly proved a valuable asset to the parish, along with the unstinting and unselfish support of his wife, Dorothy.

"Bill is one of the nicest people you could meet and works extremely hard in the parish, never complaining ' the ideal deacon. I really don't know how I would cope without him and hope I never have to find out. I've told him that he has to keep going for at least the next 25 years!"

Pictured above is Deacon Bill Dimelow cutting his celebration cake.