Fears for missing priest


 Concerns have been growing for the safety of a retired priest who disappeared three weeks ago. Fr William Welsford, 69, who is also known by his Franciscan name of Fr Bonaventure, from Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, was last seen on 2 December.

Police revealed that they found his red Ford Transit van dumped near the River Severn in Over near Gloucester. A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: "We are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of Father William. "No search of the river has been carried out as yet but if Father William has ended up in the water, he could have been washed up anywhere."

A spokesman for Menevia diocese said Fr William was parish priest at Presteigne and Knighton until he retired a few months ago. "If he had still been working, his absence would have been noticed much earlier," he said.

He explained that Fr William had failed to turn up for a pre-arranged holiday on 14 December. He said Fr William was known as a very stable and happy person. He said: "We are all very concerned for his well-being. A letter has been sent out to all priests calling for prayers for his safety."

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