Norfolk church leaders pay tribute to Prince Philip
Church and Christian leaders across Norfolk have been paying their own tributes to His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, following his death at Windsor Castle on Friday morning, at the age of 99.
Speaking on behalf of the Diocese of Norwich, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher said: “We offer our deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and all the Royal Family. The Duke of Edinburgh has been a tireless source of support and strength to The Queen through the 73 years of their marriage and the 69 years of her reign. He has also been an inspiration to very many people in this country and across the Commonwealth through his own charities and organisations.
“Over seven decades, millions of young lives have been helped and shaped through the establishment of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. I benefited from the scheme as a young person and being a Gold Award holder set me up with many important skills for life.
“The Duke of Edinburgh had a great love of Sandringham and Norfolk and his commitment to the area meant that he was held in high esteem and affection by the people of this diocese. We join with all those who will give thanks to God for such a full and distinguished life of service.”
The Bishop of East Anglia, Rt Rev Alan Hopes, on behalf of Catholics across the Diocese of East Anglia, said: “We pray for the repose of the soul of His Royal Highness, the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. In mourning his death, we express our sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family.
“Prince Philip’s long life was marked by an extraordinary example of duty and service to his Queen and his country. Countless individuals will have been touched by his many initiatives, particularly young people. His fidelity in family life, even in times of difficulty, has been inspiring. May he now rest in peace.”
A Solemn Requiem Mass will be offered for His Royal Highness by Bishop Alan in the Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist, Unthank Road, Norwich on Wednesday April 14 at 6pm. the Mass will be live streamed. Due to the Covid restrictions, those who would like to attend in person are asked to view the cathedral website for details of booking arrangements. www.sjbcathedral.org.uk
The Dean of Norwich Anglican Cathedral, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, said: “On this sad day for Her Majesty The Queen we at Norwich Cathedral join the rest of the people of this diocese in expressing our condolences as she mourns the death of her husband His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. We assure her and all the members of the Royal Family of our continuing prayers at this time.
“Through more than six decades The Duke of Edinburgh has served alongside Her Majesty The Queen, giving her unwavering support and offering outstanding service to the life of our nation and to the whole Commonwealth. He also holds a special place in the affections of the people of Norfolk, having spent most Christmases at Sandringham and supported so many events in the county over the years.
“As we honour the memory of His Royal Highness and give thanks for his life of service, Norwich Cathedral will be open for all to come to pay their respects, to lay flowers, light candles and attend worship.”
Norwich Cathedral and many churches across the Diocese of Norwich are offering spaces for people of all faiths to pay their respects and reflect on the great contribution Prince Philip made to the country.
Preparations are under way for a special memorial service to be held at Norwich Cathedral, with more details to be announced in the coming days. The service will also be live streamed.
David Griffith from Norwich Interfaith Link said, "It is with sadness that we heard today of the death of Prince Philip. We are reminded of the work he did to unite the world religions in taking seriously their responsibility for the environment as God's creation."
St Peter Mancroft in Norwich marked the occasion with a half-muffled tenor bell being tolled 99 times at 12noon on Saturday April 10 with a short service of prayer taking place afterwards.
Pictured above is Prince Philip. Picture by Michael Gwyther-Jones.