As people from across the country watched the Queen’s funeral on television, a town in the north of the county held a commemoration service beforehand.

A commemoration service to the late monarch was held last week at St Edburg’s Church, in Bicester, which was attended by local politicians, the mayor and deputy mayor, an MP and members of the public.

A picture of the Queen was positioned on a desk in the church next to a book of condolence, along with candles and the Bicester Town Council mace – a symbol of royal authority.

In attendance were Chairman of Cherwell District Council Les Sibley and Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire Victoria Prentis.

Read more: Footpaths to be upgraded around council headquarters

Additionally, the service was attended by Mayor of Bicester Alex Thrupp, Deputy Mayor Harry Knight and their consorts.

Prayers were said by local ministers and a speech given by Deputy Lieutenant Miranda Markham.

A passage was read from revelations 21, 1-7.

Mayor of Bicester Alex Thrupp said: “I felt moved by the service and moved by the fact it was marking the end of an era.

“It was with great sorrow that I heard about the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

“I always thought she dutifully upheld her role as a monarch. A duty that she was not directly born into, and yet ended up being our longest reigning monarch.

“Rest in peace to a lovely lady.”

The commemoration service at St Edburg’s was held almost a week after councillors, local military representatives, religious leaders and members of the public met at Garth Park in Bicester for the proclamation of King Charles III.

Hundreds of people turned up to the event at the town council headquarters, so many in fact that around 50 people could not fit into the building.

They instead stood outside listening to the proclamation being read on large speakers.

The accession proclamation was read by Mr Thrupp in the council chamber, among guests including Deputy Lieutenant Mr Robert Buckeldee, delegates from the Royal British Legion and Lieutenant Colonel Alex Atherton.

Councillor Chris Pruden said of the proclamation: “It felt like an important event, and it marks a point in our history.

“Some members of the public did go inside; it looked fairly packed looking in from the outside.

“The event was short with the proclamation taking about five minutes.

“We then all went to watch the lowering of the flag where everyone came out and met with those of us already outside the front of the Garth.”

Bicester Town Council opened a book of condolence for the Queen which has now been closed.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing:

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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