Our churches have been hard at work helping to provide extra services as well as spaces for prayer, reflection and comfort for their communities. And like many local clergy, lay ministers and church volunteers, the Bishop of Leicester and Bishop of Loughborough have both been busy assisting with services and visiting churches to help them and their communities in this time of national mourning.
Whilst Bishop Martyn assisted the Dean at the Cathedral service in St Martins House last Sunday morning after the special Service of Prayer & Reflection for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday evening at St Mary de Castro Church, and attended the Proclamation of King Charles III at Leicester's Town Hall Square, he has also been visiting some churches across the county and this weekend he will lead the Service of Remembrance at St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray.
The service will be a joint thanksgiving, with the local branch of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) for those who served and gave their lives in the Battle of Britain, and will also remember with thanksgiving the life of the monarch. You can read more in the Melton Times here and see the Order of Service here.
Both Bishops have been calling in at churches and Bishop Saju will preach at All Saints with Holy Trinity Church, Loughborough's Service of Thanksgiving for Her Majesty The Queen, on Friday at 7pm (more details here) and he also attended the Proclamation of the King in the town centre there. He will preach at Hope Hamilton on Sunday.
All are welcome from across the county to join the Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving with city and county faith and council leaders. Details here.
Both Bishops are available to help cover services for churches in vacancy where diairies allow. For queries about Bishops' availability, please contact Bishops' Chaplain, the Revd James Pickersgill.
The Bishops' Office has been sending out information and advice to clergy, and instructions for Anglican churches about flags, bells, books of condolence etc are available on the Church of England website which will be updated as new information and guidance is published. Hymns and music including the new National Anthem are available on AChurchNearYou.com. In addition, Church of England prayers and liturgy resources can be found here. Churches are encouraged to use the liturgical colour of purple for altar frontals, if they have them.
The photo below shows Her Majesty The Queen visiting Leicester Cathedral on Maundy Thursday 2017. Photocredit: Will Johnston.