Churchgoers raised £1,000 for a deacon who left Eastwood after nine years.
The congregation at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church presented Rev Stephen Doona with the money at his final mass last Sunday.
Parishioners had organised a collection to show the respect that he had during his time as church deacon.
Kath Butler has been going to the church for 40 years.
She said: “He was a very special person full of compassion. He could empathise with people in times of joy and sorrow.
“We as a church are very sad indeed to see him go.
“I can’t say what they are, but it is unavoidable circumstance why he has to move on.
“He will be moving on to a different parish.”
Kath’s husband, Gordon Butler, also a member, said: “It is with great sadness, yet wishing him all the best for the future, that we say farewell.”
Emma Kelly, a church member and teacher at the Priory Catholic Academy, presented the money.
Rev Doona’s wife was also presented with a bouquet of flowers for the work she had done in the parish.