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The day after the funeral of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, warm tributes were paid to Prince Philip during Choral Evensong with Prayers of Thanksgiving at Lancashire’s Anglican Cathedral in Blackburn on Sunday.

The Dean of Blackburn, The Very Rev. Peter Howell-Jones, explained that the occasion had been scaled back and was a very different service to the one originally planned due to the pandemic.

Attendance in person was very limited and social distancing applied, however people could join in with the worship and prayers via a livestream on YouTube. Recording of the service remains online here to watch at any time or click the embedded viddeo above.

The Order of Service to allow you to follow proceedings while watching online can be found here.

The Dean was joined at the Cathedral by the Bishops of the Diocese, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, the Bishop of Blackburn; Rt Rev. Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley and Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff, the Bishop of Lancaster, alongside the Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable David Picken; Cathedral clergy and Cathedral Residentiary Canons.

Civic representatives were led by The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, The Rt Hon. The Lord Shuttleworth; the Vice Lord Lieutenant Christine Kirk and the High Sheriff of Lancashire, Edwin Booth; who attended alongside some of the County’s Mayors and Mayoresses, civic leaders and MPs.

Welcoming the congregation, The Dean said: “We remember today with grateful thanks the life of HRH Prince Philip; his service and his dedication to our nation and the wider Commonwealth. As we give thanks, we affirm our belief in the resurrection hope of Jesus as together we offer our worship and praise.”

The Lord Shuttleworth delivered a personal reflection as part of the Choral Evensong in which he remembered visits by the Duke to the County over the years; including when he accompanied Her Majesty the Queen to Blackburn Cathedral in 2014 for that year’s Maundy Service.

Lord Shuttleworth said: “It is with happy memories but much sadness that we say goodbye to His Royal Highness here today. Prince Philip inspired countless people all over the world, not least the seven million young people who benefitted from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

“Above all The Duke has supported the Monarchy and our beloved Queen for so much of his long and valuable life. As the Dean of Windsor said at the funeral yesterday, Prince Philip has left us a fair pattern of valiant and true knighthood, lived by exemplary standards.

“The Duke has many legacies and he will be admired and remembered with gratitude and great affection for years to come.”

The sermon for the Choral Evensong was delivered by Bishop Julian.

In a statement issued in the immediate aftermath of the announcement of the Duke’s death, the Bishop had described him as an ‘incredible public servant’ and he expanded on this theme yesterday saying: “Prince Philip has given us an example of commitment of service of others. As Consort he has shown a rare humility in not seeking the limelight; always promoting the role of the Monarchy and supporting Her Majesty the Queen. Willingly, and with a smile, he did not draw attention to himself.

“Over the years it has been the stability of The Queen and Duke’s marriage, sticking together for 73 years, that has set an example to the nation of the importance of loyalty and faithfulness to vows that are made on a wedding day.

“As a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, the Duke has modelled something we would do well to emulate in our increasingly fractured society with so many challenges to traditional family life.

“Prince Philip was also committed to making a difference. We cannot fail to notice his concern to bring change where needed; to modernise where needed and to highlight the significance of the roles people play in our society – particularly the military.

“The funeral service at Windsor was a private and yet very public moment. The Duke’s death and the funeral have fallen in this Easter season when Christians proclaim loud and clear the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his victory over death and sin.

“As we all think at this time of what we leave behind, let us not ignore the offer of an inheritance that transforms our living and our dying; as we take to heart and respond to the words of Jesus that were read at the funeral service yesterday: ‘I am the resurrection and life; the one who believes in me will live, even though they die’.”

The above selection of pictures were taken by the photographer Sara Cuff, during yesterday’s Choral Evensong. 

The captions in order of the above pictures are below:

  • First picture - Pictured outside Lancashire’s Anglican Cathedral in Blackburn after the Choral Evensong service are (l-r) Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn; The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, The Rt Hon. The Lord Shuttleworth and The Dean of Blackburn, Very Rev. Peter Howell-Jones
  • Second picture - Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, delivers his sermon during the Choral Evensong with Prayers of Thanksgiving for the life of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
  • Third picture - Freyja Shoniwa, one of the Cathedral choristers, delivers the Second Reading during the Choral Evensong at Blackburn Cathedral
  • Fourth picture - HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke is pictured during his visit to the County and to Blackburn Cathedral with Her Majesty The Queen, for the Maundy Service in 2014, this was also taken by Sara Cuff.