In welcoming our minister, our congregation and visitors last Sunday morning, our steward Sue Fox spoke movingly of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s long and distinguished reign following her sad death last Thursday, 8th September. She thanked God for all the blessings and example of service during her glorious reign and we prayed that the Holy Spirit will be a constant guide to the heart and mind of King Charles III and of his Queen Consort.
The Rev’d Mark Lawrence spoke some words of the Psalmist as his call to worship “Give heart to my words, to you do I pray”. We sang the great hymn “Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible hid from our eyes”. Mark led our opening prayers in which he gave thanks for the life of service to our nation and the realms by our beloved Queen as we mourn her death. Mark then received Mr Peter Dorricott and his wife Jennifer into church membership with appropriate words and to acclaim expressed by our steward Keith Harrison.
Our first bible reading, read by Sue Fox, was from Ephesians, chapter four, in which St Paul urges everyone to enjoy a new life in Christ putting away anger and malice, instead becoming kind and tender hearted. The second bible reading, read by Norma Buckley, was from Matthew’s gospel, chapter five in which Jesus gave teaching about anger, as part of his Sermon on the Mount.
Our prayers of thanksgiving included prayers for the Royal Family, for their loss, but for the late Queen’s love of family and her gift of friendship to others; and special prayers were said for the new King asking that he be granted the Spirit of wisdom and discernment and that he may wisely govern. In a litany of thanksgiving we also prayed for the ministers of the Crown and all who bear the privilege and burden of government. And for our own lives, giving thanks for all who have gone before, and asking that we might go forward with confidence and hope.
Mark preached on the need to cast anger and malice aside and for us to lay it at the feet of Jesus, to acknowledge our need for the Lord , to be kind and helpful to others, and as we mourn the death of the Queen, to acknowledge she laid his Crown at the feet of Jesus. We concluded with a celebration of Holy Communion in which our minister was assisted by Jill Harrison.