Diamond anniversary for Norfolk clergyman
A clergyman who has spent much of his life in Norfolk has celebrated the diamond anniversary of his priesthood.
Rev Canon Michael Long, 84, was ordained deacon in May 1956 at York Minster by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Michael Ramsey.
A congregation of 200 people from Yorkshire and Norfolk joined Canon Long at West Runton Church, near Cromer, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of that date at a service where the Bishop of Norwich presided and preached.
Born in Leicester, Canon Long came to Norfolk as a boy, attending Swanton Abbott School, and later The Paston School, in North Walsham.
He learned bell ringing at Scottow Church where he became an altar server. His family then moved to East Yorkshire.
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In the early 1970s he was Rector of Litcham with Kempstone and East with West Lexham.
About a decade later he served at Castle Acre, Newton, South Acre and Rougham before returning to York.
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'I always wanted to return and settle in Norfolk and the opportunity came when the Bishop of Norwich invited me to take care of the parish of Trowse where I spent nine happy and rewarding years,' he said.
Canon Long moved to Cromer in 2012 and serves as honorary assistant priest in the Quintet Benefice which covers Aylmerton, Beeston Regis, Gresham, and Runton.
'When I was first ordained it was in the culture that most people went to church on Sundays and that has changed a great deal in the last 25 years. A lot of congregations are much smaller now,' he said.
'One of the great joys in this vocation is that you are meeting people all the time, and the majority of them are fantastic.'