Although many of us have known the Queen was unwell, her death yesterday has come as a great shock to all of us. . . . not least because we saw her shaking hands with Liz Truss only 2 days ago.
For at least the majority of most of our lives the Queen has been ‘there’ faithfully serving her country; her resilience and constancy is something we have loved and depended on.
Her passing is a time of great sadness for our nation but also for us personally. I must admit myself to my own shock on hearing the announcement yesterday and waking up today, the world feels to me a slightly different place.
Grieving and tears are natural and we must allow ourselves time for that. Both Christ Church and Emmanuel will be open in the coming days for folk to come into church and – each in their own way – to say a prayer for the Queen and thanks for her life. You’ll be able to light a candle if you’d like and a book of condolences will be available. Christ Church – will be open today until 8pm and then weekdays next week 9.30am – 12.30pm. Emmanuel – Saturday – the church will be open 10.30am – 2pm and then as advertised on the noticeboard for next week Sunday morning – both 10.30am church services will be ones of respect for the Queen.
At Emmanuel we will also be giving thanks for all who work in our seaside community.
Online Daily Prayers for the next 2 weeks will focus on the Queen.
I’ll finish with an extract from the Queen’s Christmas broadcast in 2008 – may the faith that sustained her sustain you too.
“I hope that, Like me, you will be comforted by the example of Jesus of Nazareth who, often in circumstances of great adversity, managed to live an outgoing, unselfish and sacrificial life. Countless million people around the world continue to celebrate his birthday at Christmas, inspired by his teaching. He makes it clear that genuine human happiness and satisfaction lie more in giving than receiving; more in serving than being served. We can surely be grateful that, 2,000 years after the birth of Jesus, so many of us are able to draw inspiration from his life and message, and to find in him a source of strength and courage.”