15th April 2021

Dear Friends

I hope many of you have been able to take advantage of the relaxation of some COVID19 restrictions. I’m leaving my first visit to the pub till Friday evening after our requiem mass.

It was sad to hear news of the death of HRH Prince Philip. I suppose at 99 years of age, the prospect of your death cannot be very far away, however, it seems unlucky that the Duke did not reach his 100th birthday.  It is easy to talk about tragedy, or pain, when there is an unexpected, or untimely death. A serene ending when you very nearly reach the age of 100, seems more like the completion of something – a life well lived. So of course we mourn with Her Majesty the Queen for she has lost the love of her life. We mourn with the Royal Family for they have lost a beloved Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather. Chiefly we give thanks for a life – a very long life of dedication, duty and service, to The Queen, the Royal Family and to this Nation. The words duty and service are perhaps not very popular these days, denying oneself in order that the other may flourish, might be something I talk quite a lot about in a Christian context, perhaps they have lost something of their value in a social context. Yet, if the world, society, or indeed individuals are to truly flourish, duty and service are important contributions to the economy of relationships and society. So yes, let us give thanks for a life well lived – not without its bumps and hiccups – but what life is free of them, for a life of dedication and service, for a life of leadership and hospitality. Above all for a life of legacy, which as individuals and collectively as a society we can draw on. Perhaps that will be the Duke of Edinburgh’s greatest gift to all of us.

There will be a Requiem Mass in church on Friday 16th April at 6pm to pray for the repose of the soul of the Duke of Edinburgh and to pray for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal family. This service will also be broadcast on our parish Facebook page (which you can access via our website).

I will be taking a post Easter break next week and so will be off work until Sunday 25 April.

God Bless

Simon

P.S Please note that from 2nd May the Parish Mass will revert back to the original time of 10.30am which will be an all age Family Mass and Children’s Church will resume back at church (St Denys) the following week.