Bishop Paul’s Pastoral Letter

Dear Friends,

I know there will be a profound sense of loss and deep sadness following the announcement on 8th September of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

There will be many words of thanksgiving and tribute over the coming days that seek to express the immeasurable respect, love and inspiration that the Queen has been to our nation, the Commonwealth and people the world over. It will take us some time to come to terms with the tremendous sense of loss for a beloved Queen who has been a constant source of stability, kindness and hopeful resilience through the challenges and changes that have shaped our lives and transformed our world since she came to the throne. Each of us will have cherished memories of family and friends who are no longer with us, as well as special moments in our own story, where the Queen has simply been that constant and reassuring presence. In our shared sense of history, she is not only our longest serving monarch but a most beloved monarch too. This is why across the city and county of Nottinghamshire (and a few parishes of the diocese in South Yorkshire too) we will be united in our mourning.

We can be truly thankful for the Queen’s wonderfully fruitful and faithful life of service, inspired continually by her steadfast trust and hope in Jesus. Though she is no longer with us, she is now at home with peace and joy in the presence of her Lord and Saviour. This is the hope of God available to everyone in life and in death.

Over these next days, as churches we will create spaces for prayer, thanksgiving, and personal reflection for people across all our communities. We will be praying for the Royal Family in their very personal grief, and we will pray particularly for our new King. I know you will be tireless in your dedication and care through this special season of ministry in a time of momentous transition for our nation and world, where there are also many other cares and concerns.

Please be assured of my love and prayers for you all.

With every blessing,
Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, The Rt. Reverend Paul Williams

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