The parish of St Paul and St Barnabas is holding a special farewell evening for its retiring rector, the Rev Canon Kathleen Brown.
The event will be held in Currie Primary School, and it is expected to be attended by around 140 people, including the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, and Bishop Samuel Poyntz, who ordained Kathleen when she became one of the first women priests in the Church of Ireland in 1990.
Kathleen has been rector of St Paul and St Barnabas for the last 15 years, and the secretary of the Select Vestry, Mr John Nelson, said parishioners would be sorry to see her leave.
“People are naturally sad but we understand that when you get to a certain stage retirement is an option,” he said.
“Fifteen years is a good time, and we have had a lot of things happen, including the demolition of St Barnabas Church. That was a difficult experience, but the benefit was it freed up money for the renovation of St Paul’s.”
He added: “The party is about Kathleen leaving but it is also a celebration of what has been achieved over the last few years.”
Canon Brown, who was awarded an MBE for services to the community in June this year, will take her last sermon as rector of St Paul and St Barnabas on Sunday September 9.
“I am happy about going and I know it is the right time, but leaving the people of this parish will be hard,” she said.
Kathleen will visit Buckingham Palace on October 18 to collect her MBE.