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It was with deep sadness that we received the news that our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth had died.

This additional email contains details of the ways in which we in Northstowe, and at our Parish Church in Longstanton, are marking the period of National Mourning. Together with some updates on previously planned events.

Where to pay your respects in Northstowe

Should you wish to lay flowers during the period of mourning, we have worked with Northstowe Town Council to support this. Please use the hard standing at the Green (at entrance to Northstowe) where a portrait of HRH Queen Elizabeth II can be found.

The Council would kindly ask you to remove any form of plastic wrapping before laying flowers.

You may like to use these or similar words.

God of love,
We thank you for the life of The Queen,
for her service to our nation,
and for her faith in you.
Be close to all of us who mourn,
that we may we find comfort and hope in your love,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers and Candles from Thursday

On Thursday evening, in place of our regular Chicken Soup for the Soul event, we invited those of all faiths and none to join us on The Green to light candles and reflect.

We came together because we share in common the sense of loss at the news of the death of her majesty Elizabeth, our Queen.

As we did, we recognised that some of us, like the Queen herself, have a Christian faith. Some come from other faiths. Some have a faith in this life but not in anything further, others are unsure about any of this. But together, we can light candles.

For those of us who share her own Christian faith, these lights reflect our hope of continuing life after life.

We offered these prayers:

Holy Lord, almighty and eternal God,
hear our prayers as we entrust to you
your servant, Elizabeth, our Queen,
as you summon her out of this world.
Forgive her sins and failings
and grant her a haven of light, and peace.
Let her pass unharmed through the gates of death
to dwell with the blessed in light,
as you promised to Abraham and his children for ever.
Accept Elizabeth into your safe keeping
and on the great day of judgement
raise her up with all the saints
to inherit your eternal kingdom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen

Holy Lord, we pray for those who mourn,
For His Majesty The King, Charles
And the children and family of your servant Elizabeth, our Queen
Be gentle with them in their grief.
Show them the depths of your love,
a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven.
Spare them the torment of guilt and despair.
Be with them as they weep,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Holy Lord,
you give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death;
let your light shine on those who mourn
that they may rejoice in your holy comfort

Amen.

How to support our children

Both Northstowe’s Primary and Secondary school have created reflection areas where children at school can interact and show their respects.

Revds Beth and Stephen are also on hand to offer support and prayer.

If you would like to talk to us about how to support your children through this time, please do. We believe that it is helpful to talk about death using accurate terms (e.g., “she died” rather than “fell asleep” or “passed”). And that acknowledging our own feelings of grief and sadness is helpful to our children. It is often helpful for children to draw pictures, just as adults find comfort and a sense of community by writing in a book of condolences. There is some helpful advice here: Talking to Children about Death – Sarah Ockwell-Smith

We also have books, both from a Christian and non-faith perspective, that might be helpful.

Today’s (Saturday) Reflective Ride and Stride

Today, the Northstowe team will be leaving from Church House (6 Woodpecker Close) at 10am, for a Reflective Ride and Stride.

We will take the opportunity of visiting our neighbouring historic churches to pay our respects to her majesty The Queen.

We are aiming to arrive at our final stop - our Parish Church of All Saints' Church, Longstanton - about 1230. And will join the pop up community cafe there.

If you aren't joining the whole loop, why not ride or stride or even drive down to the cafe and meet us there?

WhatsApp us to get timing updates.

https://ridestride.org/

Church Services in our Parish Church

All Saints’ Church, Longstanton, will be open every day from 09.00 to 17.00 with a Book of Condolence available to sign. Flowers, in Longstanton, should be left in the village opposite the Village Institute at the head of The Dales. Or in Northstowe on The Green.

At 17.00 on Saturday, 10 September the Revd Jenny Hill will lead a short time of prayer and reflection.

Then on Sunday, 11 September, the Revds Beth Cope and Stephen Dove, of Pathfinder Church Northstowe, will lead and preach at a Eucharist service at 09.30

Details of additional Northstowe services later in this period of mourning will follow as soon as they are confirmed.

Pathfinder Church’s Sunday Gathering

Our own Northstowe gathering for worship this week will continue in our normal time and place (3.30-5pm, Pathfinder Primary). We continue to start our series exploring Holy Communion. This week, we are focusing on “Gathering”. At this time of national mourning, “Gathering” takes on perhaps even more importance. So we will have a slightly more muted tone as we reflect on these historic and emotive days, but all within the familiar structure of our intergenerational and multisensory Afternoon Gatherings.

More information to follow: Books of Condolence and further services

For now, there is no public dry venue for a Northstowe book of condolence, although such books are open in our neighbouring villages. Many online books are available, including one from The Church of England, which also offers a virtual candle.

Her Majesty The Queen - book of condolence | The Church of England

Revds Beth and Stephen are working with community and civic leaders on an additional Northstowe service for later in the period of mourning.

We will keep you updated on both of these as further information becomes available.

God Save the King

As King Charles III prepares to be publicly proclaimed as the new sovereign after the historic Accession Council ceremony today, we pray