The Diocese Remembers

When the news came that the Royal Family were travelling to Balmoral, many of us started preparations for what might happen over the forthcoming days. With the announcement of the death of Her Late Majesty, the historic moment became a calling for everyone in the Church of England to support a nation in mourning.

Revd Griff in St Benedict's Church with their book of condolence.

Our churches lowered their flags to half mast and large numbers rang muffled bells in line with national guidance. Many also opened their doors on every day throughout the ten days to allow everyone space to reflect and pray, light a candle or add their words to a book of condolence.

St Benedict’s, within the parish of Briar Hill, Camp Hill and the Hunsburys, led by Revd Griff, is an example of how many of our churches responded to the need to support their local communities at this time of grief. Described as ‘a small church with a big heart, and a bigger still parish’, Revd Griff was aware of the need to provide an area for people to leave tributes, and in partnership with the parish council erected a trellis outside the church.These tributes were spotted by East Hunsbury’s Primary School children who were ‘out and about’ in their local area, prompting them to visit the church for the first time since the start of the pandemic. This relationship has continued to develop with Revd Griff now supporting their assemblies, alongside the three other primary schools in the parish.







The Girlguiding Tribute at St Benedict's Church

On the first evening back after the summer break, and following the announcement of the death of the Queen, the Girl Guides patron, The 93rd St Benedicts Guides, under the leadership of Lead Guider Jacqueline Hughes in collaboration with the church allowed space for them to reflect on the events. Revd Griff met with each section in turn, from Rainbows aged between 4 and 7 to Rangers aged between 14 and 18, discussing grief and mourning in an age appropriate way.

Across the Diocese churches held reflections and services like these; some adding prayers from the national resources into their already planned services, some holding special commemoration services at specific times.  Full civic services took place in the Cathedral, All Saints, Oakham, All Saints, Northampton and St Peter and St Paul, Kettering.



It was widely acknowledged by those that attended these events that being able to mourn together, and locally, was important and appreciated. As one parishioner said, ‘I know I could go to London to say my farewell and remember the Queen, but the fact that I can also do that by lighting a candle in my local church means just as much’

Tealights were lit at St Mary's Church, Manton