All Saints Church packed with mourners during Northampton’s remembrance service for Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty remembered as “the most gracious monarch”
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Pews were full as All Saints Church hosted a remembrance service for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Northampton church welcomed mourners on the morning of Sunday September 18 - the day before the state funeral for the late Queen.

Beginning with a procession of dignitaries, the service consisted of hymns, prayers and tributes from a number of leaders of different faiths representing Northamptonshire communities.

Right Reverend Andrew Proud, assistant bishop of Peterborough, speaks at the remembrance service for Queen Elizabeth II at All Saints ChurchRight Reverend Andrew Proud, assistant bishop of Peterborough, speaks at the remembrance service for Queen Elizabeth II at All Saints Church
Right Reverend Andrew Proud, assistant bishop of Peterborough, speaks at the remembrance service for Queen Elizabeth II at All Saints Church

Among attendees were Northampton Saints star Courtney Lawes, MPs Michael Ellis, Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove, as well as leader of North Northamptonshire Council Jason Smithers, deputy leader of West Northamptonshire Council Adam Brown and police, crime and fire commissioner Stephen Mold.

As Father Oliver Coss was unable to attend while he recovers from injuries sustained during a serious road collision, Right Reverend Andrew Proud who is the assistant bishop of Peterborough hosted the service.

He told members of the congregation: “It is as if we have each lost a close member of the family.

“Each of us here, I’m sure, will have memories of her to treasure.

“It is - as we have been reminded - a very long time since the country has stood at a crossroads anything like this.

“Here we are looking in two directions at the same time, looking back on a remarkable life of service. And now we look forwards too, to the horizon and beyond and maybe our task today and tomorrow is simply to do what Her Majesty herself understood when she said ‘Winston Churchill my first Prime Minister said the farther backward you look the further forwards you can see’.

“Her Majesty wasn’t afraid to love and I think she knows she was deeply loved by her family and by the nation and by the commonwealth.”

A moment of silence was honoured to remember the Queen.

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Leaders from different faiths then paid their respects. Vined Patel, representing the Hindu faith, said: “‘We will all meet again’ has been a comfort for many.”John Josephs from the Jewish community remembered the Queen for her “support for diversity within this community”, a “defender of faith” and “the most gracious monarch”.

Hassan Shah representing the Muslim community said: “She kept her pledge over the course of 70 years.

“We give thanks to her unwavering service and the manner in which she honoured her pledge.”

The service ended with everyone singing the national anthem - God Save The King.

Following the service, councillor Adam Brown told Chronicle & Echo: “It was a lovely service.

“Northampton has held a number of events and the public have supported them really well.

“It was really great to see the upper level of All Saints full today.”

Commissioner Mold added: “It was very moving.

“I remember celebrating her 25th Jubilee and dressing as a robot for a street party - the fondest memories.

“It’s really nice for everyone to come together - even here [after the service] where everyone is having a conversation. It’s great to see people queuing [to see the Queen lying in state], we have police officers in London and a firefighter from Northampton part of the service tomorrow.

“There’s a sense of bringing people together and that’s a proud legacy.”

A national minute of silence will be held at 8pm tonight.