Norwich Cathedral service pays tribute to Queen
More than 1,000 people from across Norfolk paid tribute to HM The Queen at a special service at Norwich Cathedral last night.
The Service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration for the life and reign of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took place on Thursday September 15.
Led by Norwich Cathedral Choir, the 1,000-strong congregation paid homage to Her Majesty by filling the 900-year-old Cathedral with heartfelt singing of well-known hymns such as Love Divine, All Loves Excelling and I Vow to Thee, My Country, and The Lord Mayor of Norwich and His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk were among those to give readings.
In his introduction, Norwich Cathedral’s Acting Dean, Rev Dr Peter Doll, said: “For seventy years, the simple knowledge of her presence as monarch has given a sense of security, calm and peace to this nation, to the world and in our own lives as citizens.
“In a life well lived, in times of great joy, and in moments of profound sorrow, the late Queen gave an example of godly life, inextinguishable faith, profound hope and real humility as she served the Commonwealth, this nation and her own family.”
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher, said it: “has been the utter privilege of my life” to serve The Queen as Bishop of Norwich in these last few years, continuing a promise he first made as a Cub Scout aged eight.
Paying tribute to Her Majesty in his sermon, he said: “The Late Queen brought hope in her messages to those affected by disaster; reconciliation through small symbolic acts where there had been division; comfort where there were many tears; an attentive ear to those who spent time with her; an ability to adapt and evolve, yet maintain a mystery; and a keen eye for the going at the three forty at Epsom!”
To conclude his sermon, the Bishop poignantly turned to the simple words famously spoken by Paddington Bear at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations in June.
He said: “Another who lived life as a joyous adventure was an evacuee, a refugee, a one-time prisoner, who liked marmalade sandwiches, and tried to have the very best manners at tea. He said, just three months ago and really on behalf of us all, “Thank you Ma’am, for everything.”
A recording of Thursday’s service is available to watch in the Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube Channel.
On Monday 1September 19, all are welcome to gather in Norwich Cathedral’s Nave to watch a livestream of the State Funeral of Her late Majesty The Queen, which will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am after a procession from the Palace of Westminster.
The Cathedral will broadcast the BBC's live coverage from 9am and no ticket is required.
The Rev Canon Aidan Platten, the Cathedral’s Canon Precentor, said: “Grief can be a lonely place and that has been made worse during the pandemic. We are showing the BBC’s feed of the late Queen’s funeral so that people are able to gather together and share in this moment, rather than be on their own.
“The constant stream of people coming in to light candles and sign the books of condolence signifies a desire to be with other people in a space that is safe and holds us together in joy and sorrow.”
Norwich Cathedral continues to be open from 7am until 8pm daily for people to pay their respects, to sign books of condolence, to lay flowers, light candles and to attend worship. Please check the Cathedral website www.cathedral.org.uk for the latest information.
Flowers (without plastic wrapping) can be laid outside the entrance to the Cathedral’s Hostry in the Upper Close and Books of Condolence are open for people to sign in the Cathedral’s Nave.
Her late Majesty The Queen visited Norwich Cathedral three times. Most recently The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited in May 2010 to officially open the new Refectory and Hostry. Her Majesty also visited the Cathedral on Maundy Thursday in April 1996 as part of the Cathedral’s 900th anniversary celebrations and in April 1975 for the opening of the Cathedral’s then visitor centre.
Statues of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were also installed in the Cloister in 2018 to mark the 65th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Pictured above is acting dean Rev Peter Doll at the thanksgiving service for the Queen. Picture © Bill Smith/Norwich Cathedral.