"Our national family mourns"


The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, has paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II following the announcement of her death. 

Speaking of Her Majesty's passing, Bishop Rose described the Queen as "the Mother of our Nation. The longest serving, most hard-working monarch in British history."

She said: "Our national family mourns with her family, for she is irreplaceable. And in the grief of her passing may we comfort one another and trust in God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Let us, like her, put our hands into the hand of God."

The full text of Bishop Rose's tribute is below: 

It is with enormous sadness that we have received the news of the passing of our beloved Queen. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. 

In paying tribute to Her Majesty, I want to begin with the words of the poem she gave to her father when she was only 13 years of age and which he used. The poem was quoted, by her father, King George VI in his Christmas Day broadcast in 1939 - the year the country went to war for the second time. It goes like this:

'I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied;
"Go out into the darkness, put your hand into the hand of God.
"That shall be, to you, better than light and safer than a known way."'*

It is with some sadness that I address you because we have lost the Mother of our Nation. The longest serving, most hard-working monarch in British history.

She has been a confidant and advisor to over a dozen British prime ministers and many other heads of state.

She has been the supreme head of the Church of England - and this is not just another title that she held. She believed in God – worshipped weekly, prayed daily. She cared about the life of the Church and the nation, and she also respected those of other faiths too.

When I was invited to Windsor Castle for a meal and an overnight stay, as we were being shown around, we lingered in the chapel as she explained the damage through the fire and the restoration work that was done.

In the library, she showed me the paperwork relating to the details of the disestablishment of the Church in Jamaica - which at one stage was known as 'the Church of England in Jamaica'.

When I learned of my appointment as one of her chaplains, and enquired about how this came about, I was told that when my name was mentioned she smiled and said: “Oh, I know her!” That placed a smile on my face.

Her ability to put one at ease was paramount.

That was all that we saw of her but - like so many - she was also a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. Beloved by her nearest and dearest.

Our national family mourns with her family, for she is irreplaceable. And in the grief of her passing may we comfort one another and trust in God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Let us, like her, put our hands into the hand of God.