A message from Bishop John

My Dear Sisters and Brothers

‘There was evening, there was morning…’ a new day.

May I offer my love and encouragement at this time of national loss. I suspect that in these days of mourning we shall discover that we are affected by the death of our Queen in unexpected and surprising ways. This will be true of the whole nation and, as the church of God, we must step up to offer welcome and opportunity for people to express their sorrow and find solace. I hope you received the email from the Province yesterday that offered prayers for our use and also other ideas that we might like to pick up on. At this point, we offer space and quiet reflection, not memorial services.

I note the significance that the Queen died on the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, another woman of faith whose sense of duty and obedience enabled her to fulfil a great calling. We know that Queen Elizabeth was a devout believer with a profound sense of divine purpose and God’s sustaining presence. As we offer her into God’s gracious care, we have the opportunity to lead others to find the same assurance in God’s love that she enjoyed.

We must, of course, also pray for our new monarch, King Charles. His task is great, all the more so as he is dealing with his own grief at the death of his dear mother.

The United Kingdom is turbulent place just now, and I’m sure that the death of our Queen is likely to add to the mood of fear and despondency about the future. Let us, therefore, be ready to explain the reason for the hope that is in us and let us pray for wisdom, compassion and courage, so that we and all Christian people may offer that hope to others and show by our own actions the love of God.

With my love and my blessings