Hackney service remembers Prince Philip, 'rock of the nation'

A procession enters St John at Hackney Church to commemorate the life and service of Prince Philip. 

A procession enters St John at Hackney Church to commemorate the life and service of Prince Philip. - Credit: Xindi Wei

A commemoration service was held for His Royal Highness Prince Philip at St John's Church.

The service celebrated the Duke of Edinburgh's 99 years of life and service to his country, on the evening of April 16.

Representatives from Hackney council, the Crown and Church of England attended but due to Covid restrictions attendance numbers were limited, and the service was broadcast online.

Hackney MP Meg Hillier asked at the church service in Lower Clapton Road, what a royal consort who lived to nearly 100 could have in common with people in Hackney.

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, and Hackney's Deputy Mayor, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, enter the church. 

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, and Hackney's Deputy Mayor and church warden for the Parish of Hackney, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, enter St John at Hackney Church. - Credit: Xindi Wei

Ms Hillier said: "But, in so many ways he was a bridge between today and the past and his common experiences were more than many might understand."


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The MP spoke of the Duke's "chaotic upbringing" due to the challenges of nationhood, which had him leave his home in Corfu, Greece, as a refugee aged 18 months in a makeshift cot made from an orange box.  

She added: "Many people in Hackney were not born here, fled trouble to come and make Hackney and the United Kingdom their home, and for so many years [Prince Philip] served our country and Her Majesty the Queen without complaint  - and been a stable part of our lives. 

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"In the last year, as in the years when he served to save our country in the Second World War, we have seen such instability, such challenges and we are losing a rock of the nation in losing his Royal Highness."

Ms Hillier praised the Prince's work setting up the Duke of Edinburgh youth awards programme and Kam Adams, Speaker for Hackney told the Gazette: "We send our sincere condolences to the Royal family, and acknowledge HRH Prince Philip's duty to public service and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme which has positively impacted many people."  

The Bishop of Stepney, Rt Rec'd Dr Joanne Grenfell, at the commemoration service in Hackney. 

The Bishop of Stepney, Rt Rec'd Dr Joanne Grenfell, at the commemoration service in Hackney. - Credit: Xindi Wei

The service was led by Rev’d Al Gordon, the Rector of Hackney and Rt Revd Joanne Grenfell, Bishop of Stepney, and supported by representatives of the Hackney Deanery and the Parish of Hackney.  

Lt Col Roderick Morris, deputy lieutenant of Hackney, spoke of Prince Philip's industrious naval career and musical performances.

The service was broadcast online on the Hackney Church YouTube channel at youtube.com/hackneychurch


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