Pope Francis' representative in Ireland will make history next week by preaching at Protestant churches in Belfast and Armagh.

Archbishop Charles Brown will become the first Papal Nuncio to address a non-Roman Catholic congregation in the country when he preaches at Saint Anne's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Belfast on Tuesday evening.

In a statement, the Church of Ireland Press office said the occasion will be the first of two special services to mark the international Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

It will be attended by the Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Rob Craig, along with local Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic bishops and a Methodist representative.  

The following evening, Archbishop Brown is scheduled to preach at Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh. The statement says the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic Primates, Archbishop Richard Clarke and Cardinal Seán Brady will also attend along with other clergy. 

Choirs from the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Belfast and Armagh will sing together at the respective services.

Announcing the unprecedented development, St Anne's Dean John Mann expressed the wish that both services might be springboards for future endeavours, weaving together the threads of the past whilst stepping forward in unity and faith.