• Tue. May 21st, 2024

Archdeacon of Oxford says the Queen lived an ‘inspirational life of service’


Sep 9, 2022

The Archdeacon of Oxford paid personal tribute to the Queen at a service in her honour, saying the late monarch had "encouraged us to carry on".

Sunlight poured into Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford yesterday evening as clergy members, academics and members of the public gathered for a choral evensong in remembrance.

The evening began with the Canon Precentor Philippa White, who officiated the service, welcoming the congregation.

From there on, the choir charmed guests with silk-like harmonies, blessings and prayers interspersed with readings from the Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Rev Gavin Collins.

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft was otherwise engaged at the House of Lords and could not join the service.

A speech was also given by the Archdeacon of Oxford, the Venerable Jonathan Chaffey.

Mr Chaffey said: "We have come together this evening with a profound sense of shock and sadness at the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

"Our thoughts and prayers join with those of the county of Oxfordshire and of the broader diocese, the countries of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and with our sorrow and condolences being shared across the wider world.

"The Queen led an inspirational life of service, as she fulfilled with remarkable dedication the cause to which she so famously committed herself on her 21st birthday.

"We offer our prayers for the royal family, especially for Charles, our sovereign.

"Our hearts go out to them in their private distress.

Read more: Charles III to be formally proclaimed King in historic ceremony in Oxford

"Despite its inevitability, her death is a seismic shock. For the Queen exercised her unique role as an anchor for the identity and unity of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.

"As sovereign, she embodied the continuity of all that we hold good within society.

"As a figure head she was unimpeachable, personifying constancy in the midst of turbulence.

"Our loss is not only national, but personal, for she had an ability to sympathise with, and affirm people of every background and belief.

"This was undoubtedly naturally inherited, in her humanity, resilience and humour, experienced by so many, myself included."

Founded in 1546, Christ Church is both a college of the University of Oxford and the cathedral church of the diocese of Oxford.

It is the only dual foundation of this kind in the world.

Choral Evensong follows the order of the Book of Common Prayer, which itself draws on medieval patterns of chanted psalms, songs from scripture and prayers.

The Book of Common Prayer has shaped the worship of this nation for centuries.

Cathedral services at Christ Church begin five minutes later than British Standard Time because the cathedral keeps the old 'Oxford Time'.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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