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A reflection on the Coronation

Published: 15th May 2023

Bishop JohnBishop John reflects on his experience of the Coronation of King Charles III.

God save the King! Long Live the King! We shouted. What a spectacle was the coronation. They don’t happen very often: there were only three in the 19th Century, four in the 20th and this is of course the first in this century.

I was privileged to have a ring-side seat, not as the 113th Bishop of Worcester but in my most esoteric role, that of Lord High Almoner to the King.

The theme of the coronation was service. More moving for me than all the wonderful music, glorious though it was, was the sentence with which the whole thing began, spoken by a young chorister:

‘Your Majesty, as children of the Kingdom of God, we welcome you in the name of the King of kings.’ The King replied, ‘In his name and after his example, I come not to be served but to serve.’

The King is a committed Christian who, like his mother, is someone who has taken to heart the words and actions of Jesus and given such unstinting Christian service all his life: service to all, regardless of colour or creed.

The coronation was a great occasion, an amazing spectacle of pomp and pageantry but at its heart was our King dedicating his life in service to the King of kings. My prayer is the same one that King Charles knelt to pray before the altar during the coronation.

God of compassion and mercy whose Son was sent not to be served but to serve, give grace that I might find in thy service perfect freedom and in that freedom knowledge of thy truth. Grant that I may be a blessing to all thy children, of every faith and belief, that together we may discover the ways of gentleness and be led into the paths of peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Bishop John.

Page last updated: Wednesday 17th May 2023 10:30 AM

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