Religious leaders unite to honour ‘one of the great men of our time’ - The Worcester Observer

Religious leaders unite to honour ‘one of the great men of our time’

Worcester Editorial 17th Apr, 2021   0

AS THE NATION prepares for the funeral of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, religious leaders in Worcester have paid tribute to Her Majesty’s ‘wonderful consort’.

Leaders of the Christian church in the city were joined by those from Worcester’s Muslim Welfare Association in showing their respects for Prince Phillip after his death at the age of 99.

Speaking ahead of the funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Saturday (April 17), the Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge said: “Millions of people, not just in this country but across the globe, will be saddened to learn of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

“As a most wonderful consort to Her Majesty the Queen, he has been centre stage for decades, bringing his considerable wisdom and wit to bear on so many situations.

“I join in giving thanks for the long life of a remarkable man and pray that he will rest in peace and rise in glory. I pray for comfort for all who mourn his passing, especially Her Majesty the Queen and all the Royal Family.”

The Dean of Worcester, Peter Atkinson, said: “Prince Philip was a much-loved figure on the world stage for many decades. His support for Her Majesty the Queen throughout their long marriage, and his devotion to duty through countless public engagements until very recently, mark him out as one of the great men of our time.

“We mourn his passing, and are united in prayer for the Queen and the Royal Family.”

In a statement on Twitter, Worcester’s Muslim Welfare Association said: “Very saddened to hear the news of HRH Duke of Edinburgh’s passing. Prince Philip was strong pillar of support to HM the Queen and the nation.

“We offer our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and all the Royal Family in this very difficult time.”

Worcester’s MP Robin Walker said: “I was very lucky to have met the Duke on a number of occasions and on each he had the capability to light up a room.

“I first met him when I was a small child of eight or nine at the Royal Welsh show when my father was Secretary of State for Wales, I had been carefully primed to address him as your Royal Highness but in the excitement of the moment I completely forgot to do so.

“Many years later I was invited as newly-elected MP to a palace garden party at Buckingham Palace and he was again laughing and joking all the way around the visitors there, I told him that my office was in Old Scotland Yard and he explained that it took its name from where the Kings of Scotland used to stay on their visits to London, then joked ‘and sometimes we let them go again afterwards’.

“The third time and the most special was during the diamond jubilee year when he and the Queen came to Worcester to open The Hive.

“Everyone who met him that day attested to a larger than life personality, a great charm and an immediate wit, focused on putting people at their ease.

“The whole country owes this extraordinary man a debt of gratitude for his service but also for his remarkable legacy.

“His creation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for young people has created so many memorable experiences and done so much to support young people in undertaking volunteering, learning about the great outdoors and building character and resilience.

“In a very real way his legacy will live beyond him in so many lives enhanced and people inspired.”

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, said: “I was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. He has been a steadfast supporter of the Queen and has given a lifetime of service to this country for which we are truly grateful.

“My thoughts are with Her Majesty and all the Royal Family at this sad time.”

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