Dear friends,

As we share together in the deep sorrow and sadness of our Queen as she mourns her beloved husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, I am writing to let you know about the ways our parish will be marking this period of national mourning.

  • The flag will continue to be flown at half-mast on St Michael’s tower until Sunday 18th, the morning after the funeral.
  • The tenor bell was rung 99 times half-muffled at noon today and will again be rung next Saturday, the day of the funeral.
  • During Sunday’s morning service we will play the National Anthem, observe a minute’s silence and pray for the Queen and the Royal Family.
  • On Friday 16th April (the night before the funeral), at 6pm, Jonathan will lead a special service of prayer and reflection in St Michael’s. You are welcome to attend in person and this will be also streamed online at
  • There is an online book of condolence available on the Church of England Website,

I also want to share this statement from Bishop Steven with you:

“The prayers of the whole Diocese of Oxford are with Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family today and in the coming days as we mourn the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

“We give thanks for Prince Philip’s long and extraordinary life, his faithful service to Queen and country, his support especially for young people, his humour, honesty and integrity and strong Christian faith and especially his steadfast support to the Queen over the long years of their marriage.

“Philip has been at the centre of our national life for so many decades offering a model of strength and stability. He will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace and rise in glory, and may God’s peace and love be with all who mourn his passing, and most especially his immediate family.” (The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford)

At times like these it is good to remember that God holds us tenderly in His arms. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4). Not that grief is good but that in grief we can know the comfort and love of God more deeply than otherwise. Jesus was a man of sorrows and well-acquainted with grief. He knows the pain from the inside and can therefore be an unsurpassed strength and comfort at times like this.

My prayer is that that would be the testimony of our Queen, her family and all of us who mourn at this time. Let’s pray that God would comfort us all at this time as only He can.

You might find these prayers helpful at this time too:

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.

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.

Yours with much love in Christ,