Members of the Prayer Book Society are meeting for their first annual conference since 2019, little guessing how dramatic the opening hours would be.
Society members are at Liverpool Hope University, formerly St Catherine’s College.
As members checked in on Thursday afternoon it was already clear that the news from Balmoral was concerning.
The Society sang the Evensong office, hearing for the last time the invocation, “O Lord, save the Queen” and concluding the service with “God save our gracious Queen”. By the time the group gathered for dinner the announcement had been made by the Palace that Her Majesty had died, peacefully, during the afternoon.
Amongst those gathered for the conference was Bishop Humphrey Southern, Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon.
Bishop Humphrey broke the news of Her Majesty’s death before reminding his audience that, “We are people of the resurrection… The Queen is dead, God Save the King!"
Delegates stood and sang, “God save our gracious King”.
By the time the conference gathered on Friday 9th September the reality that our Patron was now King Charles III was sinking in.
At Mattins we encountered, most of us for the first time, the invocation, “O Lord, save the King” before we gathered for the first lecture of the day given by Bishop Humphrey. His title, “Godly and decent order: the Book of Common Prayer in an age of choice”.