On the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

We have just come to the end of a period of national mourning, and as a nation we’ve shown how much affection and respect we have for our late Queen Elizabeth II. It’s hard for many of us to imagine a world without her. As we’ve expressed our sense of loss and watched the events of State unfold before us, we’ve been reminded of, and celebrated, the many wonderful qualities she demonstrated over the years.

One I particularly admire was her ability to stick at the task before her no matter what. With everything that life throws at us, she kept loyal and faithful to promises she made over 70 years ago. I heard a quote from a poem written about her which simply said, ‘A promise made and kept for life.’ This is a remarkable characteristic, one that came from her faith in a compassionate and loving God who gave her strength throughout the ups and downs of life.

As I took a Baptism service on the first Sunday after the news of her death, we reminded ourselves that the Queen would have wanted us to go ahead. I’m sure she loved a Baptism service, with its emphasis on the importance of continuing and celebrating all that is steadfast in times of change. As we continue our period of interregnum here at St Mary with St Alban we are pleased that all our services and weekly activities are continuing as usual.

November’s newsletter will introduce you to some new members of our team, giving us the ability to maintain and strengthen our activities. As we continue to give thanks for all that has been in the life of Queen Elizabeth, we also welcome the new reign of King Charles III.

As Philip Larkin wrote:

"In times when nothing stood
But worsened, or grew strange,
There was one constant good:
She did not change."

Caroline Halmshaw