Roots & Shoots
Community News

Welcome to our newsletter with all you need to know about commemorating Queen Elizabeth II, our 2022 ordination service highlights, a new hymn for churches, creative prayer stations and the Devon artists paying tribute... with pebbles
Death of The Queen is a Watershed Moment for our Nation
It is with great sadness that we mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II in this edition of Roots & Shoots. The Bishop of Exeter, who as one of the Lords' Spiritual in Parliament, will be attending the Lying in State of the Queen, said "It is an extraordinary, watershed moment for our nation.” Speaking last Friday as Exeter Cathedral bell tolled 96 times, one for every year of the Queen's life, the Rt Rev’d Robert Atwell said “I find it so poignant standing here listening to the passing bell of the Cathedral. We mark her death as Christian people with a sense of hope, something that Queen Elizabeth embodied in her entire life, her faith in Christ. I pray for her – may she rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Churches across Devon are open this week for prayer and for people to light candles and sign books of condolence. Flags have been lowered to half-mast to mark the official period of mourning. Read more.

In this video, Bishop Robert reflects on the death of Queen Elizabeth II as Exeter Cathedral bell is tolled 96 times in her memory.
Commemorative Information for Churches
You can find information about prayers and liturgy for commemorative services, guidance about flags, bells and books of condolence (including the national online one) here. We will be updating the webpage in the next few days with information about what to do with books of condolence once the period of mourning is over. 
If you have any questions or would like to share some photos or stories from your parish, please email:
Commemorative Services on Sunday 18 September
Churches are being encouraged to hold special
 commemorative services on Sunday 18 September, the day before HM The Queen’s state funeral on Monday 19 September. 
There will also be a countywide civic service at Exeter Cathedral and civic services in Torquay and Plymouth. These will all take place at 3pm on Sunday. We are hoping to livestream each of these services. Click here for our web page, which will be updated regularly.
There will also be a service in each district council area.
 To see a full list of all the  Devon District Commemorative Services, click here.
New Deacons First in England to Vow Allegiance to King Charles III
Congratulations to our 15 new deacons, who were ordained at Exeter Cathedral on Saturday! It was an historic moment, because the 10 women and five men became the first ever ordinands to swear a vow of allegiance to King Charles III, rather than to the Queen.
The service took place just hours after the Royal Proclamation of the new monarch on Saturday morning.  

Speaking afterwards, Robin Smith, from Holy Trinity church, Barnstaple, said “What a momentous day. It was a privilege to be part of this amazing Church and serve the King and serve the country. The last few days have been a lot to get my head around but it’s great to be here.”  Ruth Beckett, from Torquay, was the very first person to make her vow. She said “I am beyond excited. To be the first to affirm my oath to the new King was amazing but in ministry we affirm our allegiance to Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and always. It has been a good reminder that people come and go but Christ is constant.” The new Deacons will now be taking-up posts as curates in churches across Devon. Read more.
Watch interviews with some of our new deacons!
Devon's Bishops Welcome Accession of King Charles III

The Bishop of Exeter has welcomed the Accession of King Charles III and revealed that the new monarch wrote him a letter just three weeks ago.

The Rt. Rev’d Robert Atwell said: “He had read a copy of the new book I edited, How Village Churches Thrive.

“I was absolutely amazed to open the envelope and find a personal letter from the then Prince Charles who had read the book and written to thank me.

“Our new King has an enormous feel and passion for the farming community, for the wellbeing of all our rural communities our rural churches as the new Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

“I find it amazing that, with all that is going on, he found time to write to me and I shall always treasure the letter.”

Read the full story.

Devon's Bishops Take Part in Ceremonies to Launch Reign of King Charles III

The regional Proclamations of King Charles III as the new monarch have taken place in Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay and in a number of towns and villages across Devon. Outside Exeter Cathedral, more than 3000 people gathered on the afternoon of 11 September to hear the official proclamation. The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev’d Robert Atwell, was present to pray the Prayer of Accession.

In Plymouth on the same afternoon, the Rev’d Prebendary James Grier, Bishop of Plymouth Designate, stood alongside the Lord Mayor outside the Guildhall to pray for the new king. The Bishop of Crediton, the Rt Rev’d Jackie Searle, led prayers as part of the proclamation ceremony in Tiverton on Monday 12 September.

After the Exeter ceremony, Bishop Robert travelled to London to attend King Charles III first visit to Parliament since becoming monarch. The bishop, who is one of 26 Lords’ Spiritual, was in the front row of the ceremony in Westminster Hall and said afterwards: “Today’s ceremony was poignant and profoundly moving, a watershed in the life of our nation.

Read more

Plymouth Proclamation of King Charles III as Sovereign, with Rev'd Prebendary James Grier, Bishop of Plymouth Designate.
Events, resources or campaigns we would love you to make the most of and share with your church community...
BBC Permission to livestream funeral
The Queen's state funeral takes place on Monday 19 September at 1100. The BBC has issued information saying that churches and other community organisations can screen the funeral live if they would like to - as long as they follow the BBC guidance. Read more here.
New Hymn for Commemoration Services
A new commemorative hymn has been written by Exeter-based songwriter Andy Flannagan in collaboration with Sam Hargreaves. 'Tears and Celebration' is sung to the tune Dim Ond Iesu (Here is love). It is available to use in church commemorative services. The song will shortly be available to stream. You can download the lyrics and music here. The song was performed by Katherine Jenkins on a special edition of Songs of Praise last Sunday. Click on the image above to watch the programme (song @ 18 mins).
Creative Prayer Stations for All Ages
A useful resource has been designed which shares ideas for creative prayer stations. The six prayer stations have been designed to invite people of all ages to pause, pray and reflect on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Each station explores different aspects of the Queen’s life, such as service, family, leadership, promise, new life and peace. The prayer stations can either be set up in church for people to use throughout the week, in a church service, or they could be used within a school setting such as in an assembly or in a school hall for families to explore. Find the resource from Sun Hats & Wellie Boots here
We have 5 Facebook Groups to help us keep in touch.
They are a brilliant place to ask questions, share tips and ideas and feel part of the church community across Devon. 
Stories and experiences from around the Diocese and beyond ...
Remembering the Queen Across Devon
Floral tributes, cards and drawings in memory of Queen Elizabeth II have been placed inside and outside churches across Devon, as well as at Exeter Cathedral. Thousands of people have also been signing books of condolence, flags are at half-mast and bells have been tolled in towers up and down the county.  Here are just some of the images capturing an extraordinary week in the life of our churches, we know there are many more!
Devon Beach Art Created in Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
Beautiful beach art has been created at Sandymere Beach, Bideford, by an artistic family of four from Devon who wished to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal crown along with a colourful Paddington Bear were depicted using an assortment of pebbles and shells. The tributes took over four hours to make!

You can find more of their inspiring beach artwork on the
Beach4Art Facebook page.
Ordination of Deacons Photo Gallery
Ordination services are a time for celebration, when friends and family gather along with training ministers, tutors, their church family, bishops and archdeacons to watch the ceremony that marks the end of years of discernment and study for those being ordained and the beginning of their new adventure as ministers.  Click here to see some of the highlights of this year's ordination service in the photo gallery on our Facebook page.
If you have a story, resource or an experience (positive or negative) that could feature in the next newsletter, please email us. We also welcome constructive feedback about what you would like to see in Roots & Shoots!
Click here if you would like to watch the weekly online worship services from across the Church of England.
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