His Royal Highness the Prince Philip RIP

Senior national and regional Church leaders have issued statements following the death of Prince Philip on Friday 9 April 2021.

Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Revd Justin Welby (pictured below) said, ‘I join with the rest of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in mourning the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, and give thanks to God for his extraordinary life of dedicated service. Prince Philip continually demonstrated his unfailing support and unstinting loyalty to Her Majesty The Queen for 73 years.He consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service. During his naval career, in which he served with distinction in the Second World War, he won the respect of his peers as an outstanding officer.On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life. He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special.The legacy he leaves is enormous.’ Read the Archbishop’s full statement HERE.

The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, paid the following tribute, ‘I join with people across the Diocese of Lichfield in expressing our sorrow on the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and in sending our condolences to HM The Queen and all the members of the Royal Family. Prince Philip has lived a life of service, commitment and courage; he has been constantly loyal in his support of the Queen and tireless in his engagement with people of all communities across our country. His advocacy for young people, for conservation and for a wide range of charitable activities has been remarkable, and is an inspiration to us all. In this Easter season, our prayers for him are that he may enjoy the fulness of the life which is promised to us; and our prayers for our Queen are that in her grief she may know the comfort and hope which faith assures.’

The next Bishop of Stafford, the Rt Revd Matthew Parker (pictured below), said, ‘There are many in North Staffordshire who have cause to be thankful for the long and full life of HRH Prince Philip. In times of great change and turbulence the Prince offered a model of engaged, selfless and committed public service that will remain as an example to all who seek to find practical ways of loving and serving their neighbours. We can only marvel at the breadth of his interests and sympathies that encompassed a ground-breaking scheme for young people, a fascination with the potential of industry and engineering to improve human life and a profound respect for the integrity of the natural environment. Behind this notable public life lies the life of a man who was devoted to his family and most especially to Her Majesty the Queen and I add my deep condolences and prayers to the many already offered.’ Bishop Michael’s and Bishop Matthew’s statements can be found HERE.

The Most Revd Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, said, ‘At this moment of sadness and loss I pray for the repose of the soul of Prince Philip, Her Majesty the Queen’s faithful and loyal husband. I pray for the Queen and all of the Royal Family. How much we will miss Prince Philip’s presence and character, so full of life and vigour. He has been an example of steadfast loyalty and duty cheerfully given. May he rest in peace.’ Read the Cardinal’s statement HERE.

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, Revd Richard Teal and Carolyn Lawrence (pictured below), said: ‘We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We will remember Prince Philip’s dedicated support of Her Majesty The Queen for over 70 years, and his long and exceptional service to the country and to the Commonwealth. We thank God for the Duke’s commitment to hundreds of voluntary organisations and the positive impact his Award Scheme has had on the lives of millions of young people. In her grief, we pray that the Queen will be comforted by her strong faith in the days and weeks ahead and we extend our condolences to her and all of the Royal Family.’ Read the full statement HERE.

The United Reformed Church offered a reflection beginning with the words, ‘The death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, brings a moment to reflect on an extraordinary life. For many, this death will leave them feeling shaken, as the life of someone who has for so many decades been at the heart of our nation comes to an end. He was born in Corfu and baptised into the Orthodox church. Later received into the Church of England, many who have known the Duke of Edinburgh bear witness to the depth of his faith and his theological knowledge. A regular visitor to Mount Athos, and a keen questioner of preachers, his faith was much more than nominal. With a childhood marred by political turmoil and danger, as his family fled from Greece, Philip was, in many ways, often almost alone in the world as he grew up. Gordonstoun school and the British Royal Navy gave him roots and a home, and with marriage to Princess Elizabeth his life’s path was set. She described him, in 2012, as a ‘constant strength and guide’ and his supportive role as a husband was one he fulfilled over decades of marriage.’ Read the full reflection HERE.

Pastor Leke Sanusi (pictured below), Chairman of The Redeemed Christian Church of God UK, said, ‘The RCCG extends deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, the Royal Family, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. We give thanks to God for a life of dedicated service to the nation and for his devotion to, and loving support of, Her Majesty The Queen, to whom he was married for over 73 years. Prince Philip leaves an outstanding legacy which includes a sterling military career and extensive charitable work reflecting his diverse interests. His concern for young people found expression in The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme through which the lives of countless young people across the world have been transformed since it was launched in 1956. We pray that God will comfort Her Majesty, the Royal Family and the nation. May His Royal Highness rest in peace.’ Read Pastor Leke Sanusi’s statement HERE.