As a child Nceba Bethlehem Nopece would imitate a priest as a game, in which he would dress up and administer communion with mealies and red cooldrink.
More than 60 years later, the Anglican bishop of the diocese of Port Elizabeth will retire on Sunday after 27 years of service.
Priests, pastors, friends and members of his community are expected to attend his last sermon organised by the Church at Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton on Sunday.
Nopece, 68, was ordained as a deacon in 1978 before being nominated archdeacon of Mthatha in 1992 and suffragan bishop of Grahamstown in 1998.
He was consecrated as bishop of the diocese of Port Elizabeth in 2001.
Nopece was born and raised in Sentube near Ngcobo, where visiting priests on horseback and bicycles fascinated him so much he would make other children sit on rocks and pretend to be his congregation.
“I would make the priest’s clothing out of newspapers and then administer holy communion in the form