Former Bishop for Birmingham the Rt Rev Dr John Sentamu, supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, said his final farewell to the city yesterday.
In a service for 2,500 people at the ICC Dr Sentamu - the first black Church of England Archbishop - encouraged the congregation into the main hall at 7.30pm to the sound of a beating drum.
Clergy and lay people who worked with him in Birmingham paid tribute to his hospitality, humanity and tireless effort.
The newly-appointed Archbishop of York preached at the communion service, and made his departure from "Middle Earth" - the name he gave to Birmingham - on a canal barge.
Archbishop Sentamu was presented with gifts including a crystal decanter, a photograph of Birmingham landmarks and a life-size portrait of himself.
Dr Sentamu said: "This has been a great place to live and work. Tolkien got it right, Birmingham is Middle Earth. I will remember this place in my heart."