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St Mary’s Ecclesfield: “I hope the Coronation will unite us as a country”

St Mary's Ecclesfield

St Mary’s Ecclesfield is moving ahead with a special celebration service to mark the Coronation of HM King Charles III. Taking place from 10am on Sunday 7 May, the event will also include a ‘prayer for the king’ competition for local children.

The winning prayers will be announced at the service and will be sent to Buckingham Palace, whilst also featuring in the June edition of St Mary’s magazine.

Vicar Tim Gill says the service is for everyone, but will also be aimed at people from the community who don’t normally come to church:

“We’re going to have a really lovely singsong and some prayers for the King and the royal family. We’ll end the service with a loyal toast and some refreshments afterwards. I’ve invited the local primary school and I’m going to invite the local uniformed organisations to write a prayer for the King. We’ll judge the entries and there’ll be prizes for the winners.

“We just want to make it a really easy event for the community to attend and we hope everyone will come together to celebrate on the Sunday. I hope it will be a time when the nation begins to pull together again. I think over the past number of years we’ve been a very divided country, and I hope that this might be one thing that could unite us as a country.”

In June 2022 the team at St Mary’s asked people to paint a picture for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The winners of the painting competition had their pictures sent off to the palace.

Tim says they wanted to try something different this year for the Coronation:

“Writing a prayer for the King is a nice way of including young people in the celebrations, and it will form a nice part of the service. The prize will be involved on the Sunday, but we’ll also include some old age elements to the plans as well.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the Coronation at Westminster Abbey will play out. I think it’s good there’ll be other faiths being represented as well, because I think one of the things the Church of England can do in its role is to provide a space for all faiths and for people with no faith. It’s one of the things the church does really well.”

Tim has this prayer for King Charles III and the Coronation:

“I pray for wisdom and compassion for the King and for him to be someone who can represent the whole of the nation in a way that a political head of state couldn’t. He can be a king that represents every one of us – whoever we are, whatever our beliefs, whatever our politics. I pray whatever our tradition, whether you’ve recently come to these shores or someone whose family goes back many generations, that he’ll be a king that can unite our nation.”