• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Bell ringing and open churches among plans after Queen’s death

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 8, 2022

CHURCH bells may be rung for an hour this evening and again at noon tomorrow, as churches across the county mark the death of the monarch.

Guidance to Church of England leaders issued by the Diocese of Oxford sets out how vicars should respond following tonight’s tragic news.

The Union Jack or the St George Cross should be flown at half mast, churches should be open for public prayer ‘as soon as is possible’ and clergy should ‘make themselves available to offer pastoral care to those grieving’.

Bells ‘may’ be rung for an hour tonight and again at noon tomorrow.

The diocese said thought should be given to where best to place flowers or other tributes brought to the church.

READ MORE: Nation will be 'united in mourning' for Queen, says Bishop of Oxford

Oxford Mail: St Mary the Virgin, Oxford Picture: Ed Nix, Oxford MailSt Mary the Virgin, Oxford Picture: Ed Nix, Oxford Mail

Rev Dr William Lamb of St Mary the Virgin, the University Church, said people would have a chance to light a candle in the chancel and sign a book of condolence at the High Street church from 9.30am. A ‘quiet service of prayer and reflection’ will be held at 5pm on Friday.

“As we mourn The Queen's passing, we give thanks for her grace, humanity and service, and above all the duty which she rendered unflinchingly to her country and the Commonwealth,” he said.

Speaking before the news was announced this evening, Witney rector Canon Toby Wright said: “This is a very disturbing time. Our prayers are very much with Prince Charles and all the Royal Family.”

Oxford Mail: Canon Toby Wright, file image outside St Mary the Virgin, WitneyCanon Toby Wright, file image outside St Mary the Virgin, Witney

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward