09/09/22 Elizabeth II RIP
Today we find ourselves coming to terms with the sad news of the death of Her Majesty the Queen, our longest reigning and in many ways most remarkable sovereign. Her life has been a living manifestation of Christian duty, charity and service. She shall remain an inspiration to all those who seek to do good in the world. We have been immensely fortunate to have had her as our head of state. She has been the embodiment of our nation and a symbol for the commonwealth of nations for longer than most of us have been alive. She leaves us a rich legacy which will surely endure. Quite naturally we shall mourn her passing and also dare to hope for good days ahead. The Queen is dead. Long live the King!
At St Michael's we shall help all those who wish to mark her passing and will play our part in the national commemorations.
Firstly, the church will remain open, as usual, throughout the day during the period of mourning. All are welcome to come into church to say a prayer, to light a candle or simply to spend some time in peace and quiet. If you wish to leave flowers as a gesture of remembrance, please do so; we suggest using the seating area just to the left of the main steps for this purpose.
In accordance with received protocol, the Union Jack is flying at half mast in the churchyard. Tomorrow (Saturday 10th) it will be raised to full mast at 11am to mark the formal declaration of the Accession of His Majesty the King. After twenty-four hours, the flag will return to half-mast until after the Queen's funeral. By the end of tomorrow we shall have a book of condolences in church to enable people to leave messages for posterity.
Pictures of the Queen will be displayed in church and she shall of course be prayed for at all our services. The national anthem will be sung on Sunday. We shall have a full memorial service in church soon. However we cannot confirm yet when it will be. It is important that our memorial does not clash with any of the national memorials taking place in the days ahead. We shall therefore take direction from the diocese in scheduling our service.
Meanwhile we pray for Her Majesty and for our new King.
Rest eternal grant unto our most gracious sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth and let light perpetual shine upon her. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
Almighty God, whose Kingdom is everlasting and power infinite: Have mercy upon the whole Church; and so rule the heart of thy chosen servant Charles, our King and Governor, that he, knowing whose minister he is, may above all things seek thy honour and glory: and that we and all his subjects, duly considering whose authority he hath, may faithfully serve, honour and humbly obey him, in thee and for thee, according to thy blessed word and ordinance; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end.
Father Richard Dashwood