Priest makes new friends

PUBLISHED: 15:59 23 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 24 May 2010

A PRIEST from Malawi is delighted to be spending some of his summer holiday ministering to a congregation in Nailsea. Father Clement Chimwala normally teaches at a seminary in his home country, but for most of this month, he will be in North Somerset. The

A PRIEST from Malawi is delighted to be spending some of his summer holiday ministering to a congregation in Nailsea.Father Clement Chimwala normally teaches at a seminary in his home country, but for most of this month, he will be in North Somerset.The Catholic priest stood in for Father Michael at St Francis of Assisi Church, in Ash Hayes Road, for the first time last year.And having returned to the district for a second time, Father Clement says he has gained a great deal from travelling to another continent to minister to parishioners and would 'grab the opportunity' to make a third visit.Father Clement added: "I have appreciated people's hospitality and the friendships I have made here."I may be miles and miles away from home, but I don't feel a stranger because believers are united throughout the world and the style of worship here is the same as it is in Malawi."Members of the congregation say they are also benefiting from the temporary arrangement.Doreen Wyatt, a member of the parish pastoral council, said: "When Father Clement was here last year, we all took him to our hearts and gained so much, so we asked him what we could do for him."He told us that people in the village he grew up in had to walk to a river to get water and that sometimes when they arrive, there is no water, or it is dirty."Since then, more than £5,000 has been raised and donated so a well can be installed in the village and an area built where women can do their washing."Having Father Clement with us has really increased our awareness of the universality of the church and brought it to life."He's become a really good friend."Pictured: Father Clement with parishioners Doreen Wyatt and Sue Jones.

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