Consecration of church in Diss

The bishop of East Anglia at the special service

The bishop of East Anglia at the special service - Credit: Archant

The new Catholic Church in Diss has been consecrated by the Rt Rev Alan Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia.

The church of St Henry Morse in Shelfanger Road welcomed Bishop Alan, who led a special service to formally bless the new building.

Parish priest Father David Bagstaff and about 150 people from the parish community gathered with the bishop, priests and deacons from St Edmunds' deanery, and mayor of Diss, Keith Kiddie, for the solemn rite of dedication.

Father David, who joined the parish six months ago, said: 'Everyone had looked forward to this day for a long time.

'It was a beautiful liturgy and a wonderful celebration for the dedication of the church.'

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During the mass Bishop Alan blessed the baptismal font and sprinkled the building and the congregation with holy water; placed holy relics in the altar and anointed it with sacred oil, and then purified the altar with incense and lit it with candles.

Local craftsman and parishioner Peter Dunsmore was specially commissioned to make 12 consecration crosses for the event. Mr Dunsmore also designed and made the church benches.

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Bishop Alan said: 'Great thanks to Father David and all of you to have the courage and hope to build a new church.'

Mass was followed by a celebration supper in the church community room.

Permission was first granted almost eight years ago for Diss Catholic Church to build a new facility on the edge of the town to cater for its growing congregation.

The Catholic church opened its doors to worshippers on Saturday, July 21, 2012 and cost £1m to build.

It is dedicated to the East Anglian saint Henry Morse.

The building replaces the former cramped Catholic church in Stanley Road, which is set to be turned into housing.

Have you got a story about your local church? Contact Ian Clarke at

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