How the diocese marked a moment of history

The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III have been marked in chaplaincies across the diocese with moments of quiet reflection, profound gratitude and public pageantry. Among those paying their respects were Prince Albert of Monaco who attended a service with his wife, Princess Charlene, and the Archbishop of Paris, who was one of many to send a personal note of condolence to Bishop Robert. His was just one of several gestures of support from other Christian traditions. 
The Pro-Cathedral Holy Trinity in Brussels celebrated Holy Communion for Creationtide on Sunday with Senior Chaplain, Revd Paul Vrolijk noting the span of emotions being felt from sorrow and loss at the Queen’s death to thanksgiving for such a full life. The service concluded with some reflections from Bishop Robert, and a prayer for the Royal Family.  

Pro-Cathedral Holy Trinity in Brussels
Pro-Cathedral Holy Trinity in Brussels
In his blog, Bishop Robert wrote of Queen Elizabeth as an ambassador for reconciliation in Europe. The blog includes the message to the bishop from the Archbishop of Paris describing the Queen as well-loved in France and paying tribute to her for carrying out her religious duties with wisdom and constancy. In another ecumenical gesture, the dean of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Lille, Pere Bruno Mary, signed the chaplaincy’s book of condolence.  

Pere Bruno Mary, Dean of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Lille

Like many around the diocese, the Dean of Holy Trinity, Gibraltar, the Very Revd Canon Ian Tarrant, is now concentrating on planning a memorial service for the Queen this week. But his focus was on the future at one point over the weekend, as he joined other special guests on the balcony of the governor’s residence at the formal proclamation of King Charles’ accession.  

Holy Trinity, Gibraltar

Royalty gathered at St Paul’s in Monaco where Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, were joined by the British Ambassador, Dame Menna Rawlings, for a special commemoration service led by Archdeacon Peter Hooper and Revd Andrew Taylor. In her address, Dame Menna described the Queen as "Britain’s number one ambassador to the world".  

Dame Menna (left) with Prince Albert and Princess Charlene at St Paul’s, Monaco
Across the Mediterranean in Tangiers, one member of the Anglican community at St Andrew’s, Pin Affleck, described the local response as “overwhelming and heartening” with people stopping to offer solace and prayers as they headed to the mosque. 
In an email to the Communications Team, Pin described how the church’s caretaker, himself a Muslim, had made sure that a union flag was found in the marketplace and raised to half-mast. He then tolled the church bell personally.  
Like many chaplaincies around the diocese, St Andrew’s in Tangier is keeping its doors open to allow people of all faiths and none to come in and reflect on the Queen’s life. 

St Andrew’s, Tangier
In Stuttgart, bells will continue to be rung daily at St Catherine’s until the Queen’s funeral, while online, people can sign a book of condolence or light a virtual candle. There have been special services at St Mary’s in Rotterdam and the Church of the Resurrection in Bucharest where the chaplain, Fr Nevsky Everett, said it had been “extraordinarily touching to see how many Romanians have come to offer their condolences and leave flowers”.  

History was made at a licensing service St Mark’s in Florence, on Sunday where Revd Chris Williams became the first in the diocese to pledge allegiance to the new king. 
In Geneva, special prayers were said at Holy Trinity and the book of condolence has already been signed by people from different parts of the world. The Chaplain, Revd Canon Dr Daphne Green welcomed newspaper journalists and television cameras and found herself giving interviews. 

Holy Trinity, Geneva

Media interest has been considerable across the diocese. In Oslo, Revd Canon Joanna Udal spoke to a newspaper and treasurer, Sigrid Kvaal, gave radio and TV interviews. In Lille, Revd Canon Debbie Flach, was also on TV while Revd Jules Cave Bergquist spoke to Vatican radio, Revd Canon Carolyn Cooke was on Swiss radio and in Serbia, the state broadcaster has contacted the Chaplain at St Mary’s, Fr Robin Fox for an interview.  And in Denmark, the media have been in touch with Revd Canon Smitha Prasadam and Revd Canon Ulla Monberg. 

And on Saturday Archdeacon Leslie Nathaniel closed a meeting of the CAECG in Munich with prayers for the late Queen and for King Charles III. 
Note: please continue to send the Communications Team details of what you have been doing in your chaplaincy to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth and the accession of King Charles. Later this week, we will publish more details of memorial services planned to take place around the diocese.