It was a day “tinged with sadness”, the Very Revd William Morton said as he welcomed the congregation to his final Sunday Service in St Columb’s Cathedral.
There were emotional scenes afterwards as parishioners and friends bade farewell to the Dean and his wife Rosemary, who leave for Dublin later this week.
Dr Morton will be installed as Dean of the national cathedral, St Patrick’s, at a Service of Evensong next Saturday.
Among the hundreds in St Columb’s Cathedral for Sunday morning’s Service were the Lord Lieutenant of the City of Londonderry, Dr Angela Garvey, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Hilary McClintock, the Foyle MP, Mark Durkan and the DUP MLA Gary Middleton.
He told the congregation: “It has been an enormous privilege to have served here as Rector and Dean. Thank you for allowing us to share your journey and thank you for enriching our journey.”
During the Service, Dean Morton dedicated a commemorative cross in memory of all those from the city who had lost their lives in the Battle of the Somme a century ago.