Churches open books of condolence following death of Queen Elizabeth II


Parish churches, cathedrals and chapels across the country have been open for prayer and reflection following the announcement by Buckingham Palace yesterday.

More than 5,000 messages from the UK and across the world had already been entered on the Church of England’s online book of condolence by this morning.

Tweet from Lawrence, Eastcote, in west London

Local books of condolence are also being opened in cathedrals and churches until Her Late Majesty’s funeral, for people to sign in person. There is also a Buckingham Palace national book of condolence.

More than 22,000 downloads – more than 1,000 an hour - had been made on the church finder website AChurchNearYou by this morning to access resources such as hymns and images for services and vigils.  

A man signing book of condolence in Exeter Cathedral

More than 200 services of reflection and commemoration for the Queen in local communities had been listed on the website so far and many more are expected to be included in the coming days.     
Speaking earlier today, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “The Church gives a place, and literally a physical space, in our extraordinary parish churches and cathedrals around the land, in which people can find that they can express their sorrow and find hope and abundant life.”

Resources for churches including orders of service, prayers and hymns are being shared with parishes through dioceses.

These also contain advice and guidance on activities such as bell ringing and flying flags during the period of national mourning.

Bishop of Gloucester signing a book of condolence