WEST Dunbartonshire Council will meet for the final time next week before the election for a special ceremony honouring Father Joseph Mills.

Father Mills will be admitted as a Freeman of West Dunbartonshire and be presented his scroll by Provost Douglas McAllister in the grand hall of Clydebank Town Hall.

The event, at 6pm on Friday, April 28, honours the popular parish priest who retired from St Mary’s Church in Duntocher last month after he turned 75.

Father Mills, who is widely known as Scotland’s radio priest, and who has spent a large part of his near 50 years in the priesthood working in local parishes, said after the announcement last month: “This was genuinely a great surprise. It is a huge honour to be recognised in this way by the community and members of the council.

“Provost McAllister made the announcement after I celebrated mass for the last time as parish priest of St Mary’s, a wonderful parish full of good people who have been a great support to me during my time here.”

Father Mills has also served as an assistant priest in two of Dumbarton’s largest parishes – St Patrick’s in Strathleven Place and St Michael’s in Cardross Road.

And he was a school chaplain at Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School, the Dumbarton Catholic secondary school.

He appears regularly on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme in the Thought for the Day slot and a religious affairs programme called Comedy Confessions. Father Mills is moving to St Paul’s Church in the east end of Glasgow, where he was born and brought up.