Parish History-Second Church-continued

When Fr Esser left in 1923, he was replaced by the first Priest to remain for any length of time in Swaffham. He was Fr Constantine Ketterer, of whom, though he remained until 1933, nothing further is known, for he failed to keep up the “Mission Book” begun by Fr Vendé and from which much of the information of the early days is derived. Fr Burrows replaced Fr Ketterer and stayed until 1938 to be followed by Fr Barker. In 1941 he was succeeded by Mgr Squirrell, who went on to greater things at St John’s in Norwich in 1945. Then came Fr Flanagan only to die suddenly within a year while in Ireland, and then Fr Hillier who had just been released from being an Army Chaplain. It was only in his time, in 1948, that electricity was installed in the Church.

During that time, of course, was the Second World War, which brought the arrival of the RAF and its camps, as well as the USAF and the Poles in camps such as at Feltwell and Bodney. Watton, too, was for some time served from Swaffham. These arrivals made a difference to the life of the Parish: for example between 1939 and 1942 there was an average of 4 weddings a year. But in 1947 there were 14, of which 11 were between Poles. The number of Baptisms, however, did not alter appreciably! Some families who arrived in the area through service in the RAF locally are still active in Parish life.