A statement from the Dean following the sad news of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second:

Our nation is united in grief at this time as we mourn the loss of our beloved Sovereign.  For the majority of people, we cannot remember a time before The Queen reigned over us – and we all look back in sorrow at having lost a leader whose long and distinguished reign evoked huge affection, respect and admiration.

‘A spirit of service’ is often spoken of as being at the heart of public life and we know that, for the late Queen, that spirit of service and dedication was at the very centre of Her Majesty’s life and work. It will be held up for time immemorial as a standard to which we all, along with others throughout the Commonwealth, aspire.

Her Majesty’s Christian faith was of enduring importance to her – it shone brightly from her and influenced all she was and did.  It was a faith conducted quietly and with dignity and, through it, the essential goodness of the human heart has been strengthened and celebrated.

At Hereford, we recall with thanksgiving Her Majesty’s visits over her long reign – some will remember her visit in 1957 or the Royal Maundy service of 1976 – yet more will recall the Queen’s opening of the new Mappa Mundi building at the cathedral in 1996 – hundreds of residents joined with Her Majesty when she came to the cathedral and Hereford as part of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.  On each occasion, Her Majesty brought to our community a spirit of hope, gratitude and celebration.

And now we must bid our farewells, confident that Her Majesty knows that Eternal Life with the God she loved and served.

Our thoughts turn to our new King and the Royal Family.  We assure them all of our thoughts and prayers at this time of sadness and join with the whole country in assuring our new Monarch of our loyalty, support and affection as His Majesty takes up the takes up the duties of his new office.

The Very Revd Sarah Brown