May Letter from The Ministry Team
In this edition of our Parish Magazine we are celebrating the life and work of the late Duke of Edinburgh. The news of his death on Friday 9th April brought sadness to us all. We are quite sure that you will have read much about his life and work over the past few weeks as well as listened to radio programmes and watched programmes on television celebrating all he did.
This article focuses on his faith and interest in theology and conservation. Prince Philip was born into the Greek Royal Family on 10 June 1921. Although his family had to flee Greece when he was only a few months old, he was brought up in the Orthodox Christian tradition something he was very content with. Prince Philip was keenly interest in history, religion and philosophy and, we are told, read widely on these subjects.
The Duke also wrote several books with subjects ranging from the environment and the wildlife crisis to the world of carriage driving. Both these spheres demonstrate his ability to immerse himself deeply in a subject. Prince Philip saw conservation as an area of religious duty. In 1986 he was involved in a conference on conservation, with Martin Palmer, a religious advisor on the environment. This led to the formation of a Charity – the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, a subject for all religions not just Christianity. However, Prince Philip held that if one believes in God (as Christians are supposed to) then you should be involved in caring for God’s creation. He wrote many letters to governments and leaders of faiths and in1989 he wrote an interesting book entitled Survival or Extinction.
Prince Philip’s interest in theology meant he had a good knowledge of the Bible. Rev. Prof. Ian Bradley who wrote the book “God Save the Queen” which was published for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, has also preached for The Queen and The Duke. Rev Bradley recalled, in an interview, that Prince Philip would make notes during the sermon and ask questions at lunchtime.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken of the shared faith of The Queen and Prince Philip that sustained them through 73 years of marriage. It was Prince Philip who encouraged The Queen to speak about her faith which she has done in the Christmas broadcasts and in her Easter broadcast during the pandemic last year. Through all their years together Prince Philip proved to be a model of Christian service, putting others before himself and as he served the Queen so
We know that the Queen has a strong Christian faith. We share, along with her, the trust in the victory over death won by our Lord Jesus Christ through his life, death and resurrection that we have recently celebrated at Easter.
With best wishes
Patricia, Trish and Philip.
If you are lonely or finding life difficult and would like to talk to someone please telephone one of the ministry team whose contact details are the contacts page of this website. All conversations are in strict confidence.