​A prominent leader of Melbourne’s Sudanese community has died in Norway.

The Revd Stephen Odok Ajawino Goldit, who had been Associate Priest at St James’ Dandenong since 2007, left Melbourne last month on a five-month overseas trip that was to include South Sudan. But he had a stroke soon after arriving in Norway and died in hospital there on Saturday 6 October. He had been due to return to Australia in February 2013.

Mr Goldit was ordained a deacon in 1979 and priested the following year by Archbishop Elinane Jabi Ngalama in the Diocese of Juba, in what is now South Sudan.

He served as Assistant Curate at All Saints Cathedral and Christian Education teacher in Juba, among other ministries. He also served with Bishop Gabriel Roric in Khartoum within the Diocese of Rumbek and helped establish a Sudanese community in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

By 2004, Mr Goldit was in Melbourne and had obtained Permission to Officiate as a priest in this diocese.

A memorial service will be arranged at a later date, at St James Dandenong.

An email to clergy from the Archbishop’s Office on 8 October noted that because of the circumstances of Mr Goldit’s death, there are additional difficulties with expenses and the arrangements which needed to be made for his body to be transported to South Sudan. Clergy were asked to pray that these matters would be resolved expeditiously.

“We give thanks to God for the life and ministry of the Reverend Stephen Goldit and pray for his family and friends and all who mourn his loss at this sad time,” the email said.

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