Faith of Queen comforts those attending Wolverhampton church service

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The church has been set up to allow people to pay their respects, light a candle and sign a book of condolences

St Peter’s Collegiate Church was one of many churches and places of worship across the country to dedicate services to the Queen following her death on Thursday at the age of 96.

The church, located in the center of the city, held a special Eucharistic service on Friday with a prayer for the Queen and the Royal Family, led by the rector, the Reverend David Wright, after a muffled ringing of bells at noon.

Reverend David Wright leads the Eucharistic service at St. Peter’s Church

Reverend Wright said the church would be open all week as a place of welcome and reflection, with people able to light a candle and sign a book of condolences, and added that the church offered people a place to reflect and come together.

He said: “I think it gives people, no matter how they feel, the space to be with those emotions and, if you’re a person of faith, a chance to pray and feel in the presence of God.

“The Queen, to me, was such an inspiring figure of faith and service and like many other people in this country I have never known another monarch in my lifetime and I think she was a great model of devotion to family, faith and country.”

Wolverhampton Mayor Sandra Samuels and Mayor’s Consort Karl Samuels were among those paying their respects

There was a steady stream of people entering the church, with a number staying for the Eucharist or simply choosing to sit in a pew and take a moment to reflect.

Councilor Wendy Thompson was among those present at the Eucharist and said it was a comfort to her as she faced an overwhelming sense of sadness.

She said: “It’s a good time to be able to sit down and reflect and allow people to have that moment of contemplation because you feel like you’re part of a historical event.

“The church comforts me because I think everyone comes together and shares that kind of comforting sadness in itself, and I think the Queen was seen as an iconic figure, respected around the world and so welcoming.”

“She meant so much to me and was highly respected, looking across the world and across the Commonwealth countries that she cared so much about and I think she was unwavering and dedicated.”

The service was a time for people to come together, pray and reflect

Elly Kostur had also attended the Eucharist and said she wanted to be at St. Peter’s because it was a focal point of the community and a special place.

She said: “I just knew it was guaranteed to be open and I wanted to be here among other people because it’s a great comfort to be here.

“I pray every day but there are times when you have to physically visit a church and I think it’s been a great way to remember a constant shining beacon throughout my life and someone who has always been stable and a great leader.

“She also had strong faith and I once heard an anecdotal story that she knelt beside her bed and prayed every night, plus she very rarely missed church and was ordained by God, so she was a true believer and not just someone who paid lip service.”

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