It's G'day to St Peter's Church's new priest in charge who's coming to Wisbech from Sydney

PUBLISHED: 19:16 30 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:18 02 June 2010

Rev Paul West moving from Australia to Wisbech

Rev Paul West moving from Australia to Wisbech

EXCLUSIVE by: MAGGIE GIBSON SWAPPING Sydney Harbour Bridge for Freedom Bridge and golden beaches for flat Fenland countryside is the new priest in charge at St Peter s Church, Wisbech, Rev Paul West s appointment has been announced by The Bishop of Ely a

EXCLUSIVE by: MAGGIE GIBSON

SWAPPING Sydney Harbour Bridge for Freedom Bridge and golden beaches for flat Fenland countryside is the new priest in charge at St Peter's Church, Wisbech,

Rev Paul West's appointment has been announced by The Bishop of Ely and the congregation of the 12th Century church are delighted and excited.

It is expected that the Australian who is currently assistant curate at St John's Dee Why in the Diocese of Sydney, will take over early in the new year.

The church has been without a permanent minister since Rev Canon Wim Zwalf took his final service one year ago.

A minister was chosen earlier in the year but unfortunately had to withdraw because of a change in family circumstances.

Church warden Val Spriggs said Rev West came to Wisbech for an interview after looking at the parish profile.

She said: "He came and had a look around the parish and liked what he saw. He had lunch with the Parochial Church Council and then had an interview. He showed us a photograph of where he and his family spend their leisure time and it looked a beautiful sandy beach.

"We are all very excited about it and are just looking forward to him coming."

Mrs Spriggs said the initial advert for the vacancy attracted just two applicants and was indicative of the general shortage of clergy both locally and nationally.

The Fenland landscape will not be totally alien to Rev West as he trained at Westcott House, a Church of England theological college in Cambridge before being ordained as a priest back in his homeland in 2007.

He had previously graduated in Australia with distinction in an honours degree in Fine Arts and afterwards worked on arts projects in the aboriginal communities of Toomelah and Boggabilla.

Rev West is married to Sally and they have two children Jessica, 14, and eight-year-old Dylan.


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