Decorated Armed Forces Officers Remember HRH Prince Philip in Exeter Cathedral Service
Exeter Cathedral held a service of remembrance for His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh on Thursday 15 April at 4:30pm.
Decorated members of the royal forces attended the service in uniform including Colonel Simon Chapman Commandant of the Commando Royal Marines Training Centre, Lympstone, who gave the second reading.
The Dean of Exeter then interviewed Lucas Davis, a pupil of St Peter’s School, Exeter, who discussed the confidence the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme had given him.
Required to improve upon a skill for the scheme, Lucas took to painting and found the hobby helped him process the passing of his grandmother last year. Lucas now sells his paintings often inspired by the sea on Devon’s coast via a JustGiving page to raise money for charity.
The Bishop of Exeter Robert Atwell gave his sermon and reminisced about his early encounter with the Duke.
“I first met the Duke of Edinburgh when, as a young priest, I was working as a university chaplain. Prince Philip, in his role as chancellor of the university, used to pay an annual visit and one year I was among the group of university officers chosen to meet him. He shook my hand firmly, looked me in the eye and said, ‘What do you do around here? I suppose you’re some sort of social-spiritual lubricant?’
“Whilst that just about summed up my ministry, I had never thought of myself as the Church of England’s answer to WD-40, but I did thereafter.”
Bishop Robert went on, “Like the majority of the population, I cannot remember a time when Queen Elizabeth was not on the throne, with Prince Philip at her side.
“Their marriage has been a gift to the nation, a symbol of stability and continuity amongst the ‘changes and chances of this fleeting world’.
“After 73 years of marriage, the Duke’s death must be a huge personal loss for the Queen and our hearts go out to her Majesty today in her bereavement.”
Although not allowed to sing, the congregation were permitted to say the Lord’s prayer in remembrance of His Royal Highness.
This was followed by a prayer for Her Majesty’s Navy led by Captain Roger Readwin RN Captain from Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth where Prince Philip began training at the age of 17.
After the commendation by Bishop Robert, the choir sang the national anthem on behalf of the congregation.
Hundreds of people watched the service on Facebook. Comments from viewers included condolences and prayers for the Queen and Royal family:
“Wishing everyone a great Thursday and my sincere blessings on this day in memory of Prince Philip and a protection on the family.”
“RIP your Royal Highness, I pray for Her Majesty the Queen and Royal family. Thank you for changing so many people’s lives. From an ex-forces member.”
“A splendid service to honour a uniquely dedicated and special man.”