The Archbishops of Canterbury and York led tributes from Bishops of the Church of England following the announcement of the death of Prince Philip.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, 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. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which he founded in 1956, has inspired generations of young people to help others and instilled in them a vision for citizenship and a desire to serve their communities. His work with countless charities and organisations reflected his wide- ranging, global interests in topics including wildlife, sport, design, engineering and inter-faith dialogue.
“In his powerful advocacy for conservation his was a prophetic voice for over half a century, as he brought people from around the world to a new concern and commitment to action for the future of our planet.
“As we recover and rebuild after the terrible trial of the coronavirus pandemic, we will need fortitude and a deep sense of commitment to serving others. Throughout his life Prince Philip displayed those qualities in abundance, and I pray that we can take inspiration from his example.
“I also join many people in giving thanks for the marriage of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, and for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Theirs was a marriage grounded in friendship and mutual respect and sustained by shared faith in Christ.
“I pray that God will comfort Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family at this time. May His Royal Highness rest in peace and rise in glory.”
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said: “I join with many of you across the country as we mourn the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was a remarkable man who lived a life of service dedicated to his country, to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II and his family.
“At 18, Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy and served with distinction throughout the Second World War. At the same time, the beginnings of a cherished friendship with Princess Elizabeth began to blossom.
“That friendship resulted in a marriage which lasted for over 70 years and has been a source of mutual joy, support and comfort in private moments but equally as they have both navigated a very public life together.
“Having become the longest serving British consort, Prince Philip has been unstinting in his support, leading Her Majesty to famously comment. ‘he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.’
“His faith in Jesus Christ was an important part of his life and one which shaped who he was.
“For so many in this country and around the world, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an enormous part of Prince Philip’s legacy. The award has allowed countless young people to develop and discover skills, which have instilled confidence in them and given them an encounter of working together for the common good.
“Prince Philip was patron to hundreds of charitable organisations, covering a wide range of disciplines all of which benefited from his wit and wisdom and his inquisitive mind.
“Do join me in praying for members of the Royal Family as they mourn and may God bring them comfort. As we give thanks to God for a life lived to the full, may Prince Philip rest in peace and rise in glory.”
The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, said: “Her Majesty the Queen’s words about her husband Prince Philip over 20 years ago remain as true today: we owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.
“My prayers are with The Queen and the Royal Family. I pray that they may know God’s comfort and peace.
The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh lived a long and distinguished life, much of it in the public eye and much of it of public service.
“He had an enquiring and creative mind and made major contributions in a number of areas including religion and the environment. He has been a huge support to Her Majesty the Queen, the longest reigning monarch in British history.
“The Royal Family are at the centre of our national life and our sympathy and condolences are with them as they mourn the Duke’s death. In this Easter season may he rest in the peace of Christ.
“Churches across the diocese will remember the Duke in prayer, particularly on Sunday.
“I pray that God will comfort Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family at this time.
“May His Royal Highness rest in peace and rise in Glory.”
The Bishop of Worcester, 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 Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, said: “It is with deep sadness that we hear the news of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. This is a huge loss to the nation and one which we will all feel deeply for a long time to come. We give thanks for Prince Philip, his unwavering love and support of the Queen, and for the good he has championed and enabled within our country and beyond over so many years.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the Queen and the Royal Family as we pray for them to know God’s comfort and everlasting love in the days and weeks ahead. May the hope and peace of Jesus Christ sustain us all.
“While not all of our churches are able to be open at the moment, everyone across our communities is invited to join our online worship, which can be found here.
“A special online memorial book, which everyone is invited to sign can be found here.
“May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”
The Bishop of Dover, Rose Hudson-Wilkin, said: “It is with great sadness that I heard the news today that Prince Philip has passed away. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
“His was a life well lived. A consort, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, elder statesman… Although out of the public gaze for some time since stepping back from public duty, one cannot think of Her Majesty without thinking of the lifelong companionship that they shared – and the support he gave to her and the nation over the years.
“A special memory I have of him was when I was received at Buckingham Palace as one of Her Majesty’s chaplains – I recall him joking with my girls. I will hold Her Majesty and her extended family in my prayers as they mourn the loss of his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.”
The Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, said: “The prayers of the whole Diocese of Oxford are with Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family today and in the coming days as we mourn the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
“We give thanks for Prince Philip’s long and extraordinary life, his faithful service to Queen and country, his support especially for young people, his humour, honesty and integrity and strong Christian faith and especially his steadfast support to the Queen over the long years of their marriage.
“Philip has been at the centre of our national life for so many decades offering a model of strength and stability. He will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace and rise in glory and may God’s peace and love be with all who mourn his passing, and most especially his immediate family.”
The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said: “He was a unique individual in our national life and a memorable character.
“His Christian faith sustained him throughout.”
The Bishop of Lichfield, Dr Michael Ipgrave, said: “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 Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, said: “I am very sorry to learn about the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
“We pray for Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Family, the Commonwealth and the Nation and we give thanks for The Duke of Edinburgh’s extraordinary life of duty and dedication.”
The Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes, said: “First of all our prayers are with HM the Queen, and all her family, on the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. We pray that God’s love and strength will fill and surround her and them, and indeed all who mourn.
“Prince Philip was a strong individual, full of character and humour, who chose for the whole of his life to use that strength and character to serve and support – to support the Queen and to offer service to the nation as a whole.
“He accompanied the Queen many times on visits to Liverpool and our region over the years, on each occasion enriching and encouraging our communities here. We thank God for his life, and commend him now to the mercy of our Lord.”
The Bishop of Bristol, Vivienne Faull, said: “I had the privilege of meeting the Duke of Edinburgh on a variety of occasions while I was Dean of Leicester.
“He advised me on a possible design for a new heating system in our Visitor Centre and was honest and humorous about the frustrations of illness which he bore with fortitude while continuing with royal duties and public commitments.
“My prayers are with HM the Queen and all the Royal family in their grief. May they each find hope in Christ in this Easter time.”
The Bishop of Southwark, Christopher Chessun, said: “I am very saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers are firstly for Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family in their loss.
“Prince Philip’s life of devoted service to the Crown, to this nation in war and in peace, and to the Commonwealth is a source of encouragement to us all. His enthusiastic support for many charities cannot be underestimated.
“The legacy of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme will continue to help many young people reach and surpass their potential. May he rest in peace and may we in our prayers give thanks for his life and example”.
The Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcome, said: “We are all deeply sorry to hear of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. When I recall him and his long years of public service three words come to my mind: loyalty, fortitude and humour.
“His loyalty is well-known to all of us. He has been an extraordinary companion to Her Majesty The Queen throughout her long reign and has been a constant source of encouragement and support to her. We are hugely grateful for that.
“His fortitude is obvious. He has persevered through all sorts of difficult circumstances and has been an encouragement and source of strength to the whole of the nation.
“And his humour is well-known to everyone and, I think, has been a source of amusement and joy to all of us.
“He will be very greatly missed, especially, of course, by Her Majesty and by all members of the Royal Family and we want to assure them of our thoughts and our deepest prayers at this difficult time of their bereavement.”
The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, said: “The Church of England in the Diocese of Durham and people across our region joins Her Majesty The Queen, members of the Royal Family and those across the country who mourn the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
“His dedication to Queen and Country born out of his Christian faith stands as an inspiration for us all.
“He gave a lifetime of devoted public service. He was a distinguished young Lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He was outstanding as consort to The Sovereign.
“An exile as a baby from his native Greece, Prince Philip committed himself and his future to the United Kingdom. He is well remembered for his love of a wide range of sports, his sense of humour, and his long and devoted marriage to The Queen. As one baptised in the Orthodox faith, Prince Philip shared in a truly global Christian faith. May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.
“It was my personal privilege, as a bishop, to meet Prince Philip on a small number of occasions. Each time he took a keen interest in the people and setting in which we met. He listened thoughtfully and was always ready with an apposite comment or observation.”
Bishop of Newcastle, Christine Hardman, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh’s devotion and steadfast support of the Queen is one of the greatest love stories of our time.
“By her side, he served our nation with dedication and deep loyalty. His commitment to duty, together with his lively wit and down to earth approach, have been part of the life of our nation for nearly seventy years. I pray today with gratitude for his life, for Her Majesty and the Royal Family in their loss, and for all who mourn.”
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