St Paul’s Parish Church, Lisburn, was packed on Sunday February 28 for the Rev Canon James Carson’s final service as rector.
James is moving to lead the ministry team in the Belfast parishes of St Michael and St Stephen & St Luke, and will be introduced there at a special service at 3pm on March 13. His wife Heather, who was Sunday School organiser at St Paul’s, is also leaving to take up the role of Parish Development Officer in St Michael, St Stephen & St Luke.
The St Paul’s Praise Band and the choir lead the worship at the Canon’s final service in the parish. The choir sang ‘Teach Me Thy Way O Lord’, and the rector’s daughters Emma and Lisa sang ‘This I Believe’ (The Creed).
At the end of the service the congregation was invited to come forward and pray with the family, and following the service there was a buffet lunch in the Church Hall.
James and Heather were presented with gifts from the Praise Band, the CLB, the GB and the Mothers Union, while Norman and Andréa Briggs presented James with a photobook to remind him of his time at St Paul’s. Many parishioners also left individual gifts.
Heather afterwards thanked everyone who had played a part in the couple’s final service in St Paul’s. “It was a lovely morning and we were delighted to see so many people support us as we prepare to leave,” she said.
Of the presentations, she said: “We will treasure all of these gifts and thank everyone most sincerely.”
Heather added: “The Carson family wish you all God’s richest blessings for the future, we have loved living and serving Christ among you and will miss you.”
Report and photos by Norman Briggs.