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Statement from Rt Rev. Philip North

The Acting Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Philip North, has issued a statement tonight in response to the news that Her Majesty The Queen has died.

It follows the issuing of statements from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York earlier this evening.

Speaking from Bishop’s House, near Blackburn, the statement by Bishop Philip follows and it is also available to watch on our YouTube channel via the embedded video above or click here.

Friends, this is a moment of very profound sadness.

Whilst many of us will never have met Queen Elizabeth the Second, we love her very deeply.

She has stood as a sign of unity and stability for our nation during many turbulent decades. Very few of us can even remember another monarch. We are now a nation in deep grief.

So I want to suggest that in these days of grief we do three simple things.

The first is to pray. The Queen was a person of deep and profound faith, a woman who knew that Jesus had died to set her free. And it is in prayer that we too can be reassured in the hope that Jesus gives us. So pray for the Royal Family, for our new King, for our nation and for all afflicted by grief at this time. Pray that we all might know the comfort that Jesus gives.

The second is to give thanks.

What a remarkable life this has been, a life given wholly in service to the nation, the commonwealth and to her family.

Through seventy years the Queen has been a role model, a wise counsellor and a fearless witness to the Gospel. We have been privileged to witness what has surely been one of the great lives of modern times. Let’s give thanks for that.

And the third is to imitate. The best way to remember someone we love is to put into practice in our own lives what we saw and loved in them. This is a time for us all to think how we can serve more richly, give more generously and care more passionately. The Queen made of her life a gift to the world. How can we do the same?

Love endures all things. That’s what St Paul says in his beautiful letter to the Corinthians. As we remember a monarch who loved her people and was loved by them, let’s strengthen one another in the hope that God’s love conquers even death itself.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Rt Rev. Philip North, Acting Bishop of Blackburn

Sign the national memorial book

There is a national online memorial book available on the Church of England website. 



Ronnie Semley, September 2022