Thursday 22nd September 2022
The United Reform Church in historic Stamford was the venue for a special service of thanksgiving for the life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Many of Stamford’s prominent citizens attended the service, held on Sunday 18th September, which was led by Reverend Doctor Peter Stevenson. Readings were given by Wing Commander Jez case, Station Commander at Royal Air Force, and by the Mayor of Stamford, Councillor David Taylor.
A service of commemoration and thanksgiving for the RAF’s victory over the Luftwaffe in during the Battle of Britain would normally be held on this Sunday, but with the sad passing of Her Late Majesty the Queen, the Mayor and RAF Wittering thought it appropriate to afford people the opportunity to remember her reign formally.
Stamford’s United Reformed Church is part of the non-conformist movement and the service was held in that tradition. Reverend Stevenson spoke of Her Late Majesty’s many outstanding personal qualities, of her role as Defender of the Faith, and how personal grief at a time of loss will naturally include sadness.
Wing Commander Case’s reading from Ecclesiastes was poignant and included the famous words ‘for everything there is a season’, reminding the congregation that all things eventually change, and that change is a natural part of life for everyone.
“It was an honour to be able to take part in a service that commemorated the Queen. We all have our own thoughts and memories of Her Late Majesty, and this service allowed each of us to reflect on an incredible life of service to our Nation, and what this change will mean for us all.”
Said the Station Commander, who had met the Queen as an Air Cadet at the age of fifteen.
The late Queen’s favourite hymn ‘Praise My Soul The King of Heaven’ was the first musical offering and stirred some enthusiastic signing from the congregation.
“It had been our plan to welcome RAF Wittering to the church to commemorate the Battle of Britain but, quite properly, we instead gave thanks for the life of our late Sovereign. In our service it was our hope to give back some of the love and charity that, without expectation of return, Her Late Majesty had spent her life giving to all of us.”
Said Reverend Doctor Stevenson.
Wing Commander Case concluded: “Thank you to Reverend Stevenson for the welcome he and his congregation gave us. Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was the Head of State, Defender of the Faith, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. It is fitting, therefore, that RAF Wittering personnel and Stamford’s citizens should come together in this way and recognise the seventy years of unstinting service Her Late Majesty gave us.”
Image Credit: AS1 Kimberley Waterson