His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh R.I.P
It is with great sadness that we heard yesterday of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
This email is to inform you of what we will be doing as representatives of The Church of England over the coming days in the parishes of Tatworth, Thorncombe, Chaffcombe, Cricket Malherbie with Knowle St Giles, and Winsham.
There are official protocols to follow in the event of the death of a senior member of The Royal Family which are agreed between The Royal Family, The Church and The Government. In keeping with those, and with respect to the express wishes of The Royal Family, please take note of the following information:
1. National Mourning
Beginning yesterday we are now in an 8 day period of mourning, which will come to an end on Saturday 17 April, or following the funeral, whichever is the later. During this period, where churches are equipped to do so, they may fly the Union Flag at half mast and toll muffled bells in memory of Prince Philip.
2. Paying Respects
Churches will continue to be open for private prayer at their normal times and for services as scheduled. We will endeavour, resources allowing due to COVID regulations, to make churches open more widely for people to visit during the period of mourning. There will be a notice at your local church with those details.
Flowers may be left in memory of Prince Philip, but they must be left outside in the churchyard. There will be an area in each churchyard for you to leave flowers in memory, and they will remain in situ for the period of mourning.
We have been asked not to make physical Books of Condolence available. This is a specific request and we will therefore respect that. Instead, there is an online Book of Condolence that can be accessed here:
Knowing that there are a number of people that are not online and may wish to leave a message for The Royal Family at this time, please may I request that if you are in contact with people ‘offline’ that you offer to put a message in the online book for them.
The Sunday Eucharist services tomorrow at 10am in St John’s, Tatworth and St Mary’s Thorncombe will be in Commemoration of Prince Philip and follow official liturgy released by the Church of England.
There will also be an online service of Commemoration that will be pre-recorded and released for use for the day before the funeral, which will be available on https://twoshires.wordpress.com
There will be a Memorial Evensong in Wells Cathedral tomorrow evening which will be available online at: https://www.wellscathedral.org.uk/
The funeral for Prince Philip will be private and held in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. At the request of the Royal Family it will not be a State Funeral. The public are asked not to travel to visit Windsor or other Royal residences to pay their respects. The date is yet to be announced, but is very likely to be in the next 7 days. National media will cover the funeral and as churches we are asked not to hold services at the same time.
Here are some prayers that you may like to use in the coming days:
God of our lives,
we give thanks for the life of Prince Philip,
for the love he shared among us,
and for his devotion to duty.
We entrust him now to your love and mercy,
through our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Amen.
Merciful God, be close to all who mourn,
especially The Queen and all members of the Royal Family.
May they know the hope of your promises
and the comfort of your love,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Eternal God, we give thanks for the life of Prince Philip,
founder of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
We remember his vision and imagination,
his interest in young people and his support for them.
Inspire us with the same commitment
to serve friend, neighbour, and stranger alike,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For use with young children:
We are sad that Prince Philip has died.
Thank you for his long life
and for his care for The Queen and our country.
The Reverend Philip Butcher
Rector – Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham, Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)
3 Home Farm
PASTORAL EMAILS – please to: email@example.com
HOME PRAYER & WORSHIP: https://twoshires.wordpress.com
Rest Days – Mondays (Tuesdays where following a bank holiday)
For non-urgent enquiries please allow up to a week for responses.
Mornings are best times for phone contact!