Churches pay tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Churches pay tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

First published on: 19th April 2021

Parishes across the area of the Diocese offered services and opportunities for private prayer and reflection following the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh on 9 April, 2021.

Flags were flown at half-mast and many churches, including Rochester Cathedral, tolled their bells 99 times at noon on the day after the announcement.

Many churches took immediately to social media to share prayers, photos, as well as offer services.

With public safety in mind due to the coronavirus pandemic, churches found additional ways to allow people to remember.

At St John’s Church, Eden Park, and at St Botolph’s Church Northfleet, the church noticeboards included pictures and prayers which passers-by could use to pay their respects, while St Margaret’s Church in Rainham distributed individual memorial cards to local shops and businesses.

With physical condolence books unavailable due to Covid-19, people were also been directed to online books of condolence on both the Church of England and Royal Family websites.

Bishop James, Bishop Simon and the Dean of Rochester Cathedral shared a message of condolence and a set of prayers following the announcement.

"It is with great sadness that we have learned the news of the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

Our most sincere condolences on behalf of the Diocese of Rochester, have been expressed to Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

Prince Philip’s long life and his unstinting support of the Queen over more than 70 years of marriage have contributed immensely to the life of the nation at home and abroad. 

He will also be remembered for his personal initiatives and support in many spheres, not least his encouragement of young people, particularly with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, founded in 1956.

His Royal Highness’ death will be deeply felt by many.

Prayers will be offered in Rochester Cathedral and in churches and chaplaincies across the diocese. Flags around the diocese will be flown at half-mast during the period of mourning.

At Rochester Cathedral, Bishop James lit a candle and offered a private prayer before filming a personal tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Watch it below:

Churches continued to help people mark the period of national mourning leading up to the funeral on Saturday 17 April, through special commemorative services online, and where possible, to limited numbers in-person.