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Press photographer-turned-pastor tells of cancer battle in web diary

A former Essex press photographer-turned-pastor has launched a blog to keep people up-to-date on his battle with cancer.

Tony Tween is so well-known in his home town of Chelmsford because of his work at the Essex Chronicle and with the church, that he was deluged with phone calls from well-wishers.

So he decided to write his own online diary.

Tony, (62), was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year and underwent major surgery to remove the tumour.

His illness meant he had to take time off from his work at Elim Christian Centre, leaving his 500-strong congregation desperate for news on his progress.

Tony said: “I wanted to find a way of communicating with the congregation and friends and so I set up the blog and put a link from the church website.”

Following his treatment Tony regularly posted messages about his time in hospital and his road to recovery.

Now he has been given the good news that the operation has been a complete success and he doesn’t need to have any follow-up treatment.

Tony said: “I have been told that I don’t need any chemo or radiotherapy.

“This is thanks to some very good doctoring and is the answer to hundreds of prayers.

“I’m now back at work and can pass through the congregation.”

Before becoming a full-time pastor in 1989, Tony had worked as a photographer for the Essex Chronicle and Brentwood Gazette for 27 years.

He said: “I have been a Christian for many years and felt that God was calling me to do something other than journalism.

“I’ve been there ever since and have seen the church grow and develop.

“We are a very much a community-based church, we have a large day nursery and provide meals for old people.

“We feel the Christian faith is relevant to everyday life and not just Sundays, and joining the church proved to be the best decision I’ve ever made.”

  • To read Tony’s blog visit

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