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Remote diocese

01 February 2013


NAPOLEON was exiled there, and it takes longer to reach than Australia. For three months, initially, Canon Roy Doxsey is going to St Helena, in the South Atlantic, the world's most remote inhabited island. It is less than half the size of the Isle of Wight, and has about 4000 inhabitants.

He is leaving this month at the request of his old friend the Bishop of St Helena and former Dean of Monmouth, Dr Richard Fenwick, an invitation that came out of the blue. "Priests never retire," Canon Doxsey said to me; and he has had a "great ministry". The 72-year-old has recently been looking after St German's, Roath, in Llandaff diocese, but now he sees this challenge as "another splash of colour on the canvas of life".

Getting there will be an adventure in itself. He will start from the RAF base at Brize Norton, from where the RAF will ferry him on the nine-hour flight to Ascension Island, 700 miles away, where he must wait two days for a ship that will take another two days to get to St Helena.

The one drawback is that he must leave behind his two beloved Jack Russells, Jasper and Megan, with a friend. He could take them, he told me, but it would cost about £1000.


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