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Prince of Wales Attends Memorial Service for Christchurch

Monday, 28th March 2011

Prince of Wales Attends Memorial Service for Christchurch

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales attended a Christchurch Earthquake Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey on Sunday 27th March 2011.

Over two hundred people died and many more were injured in the earthquake which struck the New Zealand city and the wider province of Canterbury at 12.51 pm on 22nd February.

During the service The Prince of Wales laid a wreath of remembrance at the Innocent Victims Memorial outside the Abbey’s Great West Door. After the service he met relatives of some of those who died in the earthquake.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, gave the Bidding and an Address. He said in his Address:

A few months ago, we rejoiced that, despite the destruction caused by the Christchurch earthquake of 4 September 2010, no lives were lost. Now we grieve that on 22 February not only was so much of Christchurch and Canterbury damaged or destroyed but so many lives were lost and so many more people seriously injured.
There are amazing stories of the courage of survivors and of the bravery of rescuers. We have heard some today. For them all we thank God. We thank God too that in Christ he shares the suffering.
Can Christchurch and Canterbury recover from the disaster? Can the city rise again? It will never forget - but it can and will rise.

The service began with the Karanga performed by Waimatao Temo, Tuhoe.

The High Commissioner for New Zealand HE Derek Leask read an Address from the country’s Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Key. There were testimonies from the Christchurch-born soprano Hayley Westenra and Peter Crook, leader of a team of UK emergency service personnel who flew to the city to assist.

The Reverend Barry Olsen, Honorary Chaplain to the New Zealand Society read Romans 8: 31b-39.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Michael Macey, Minor Canon of Westminster, and said by Anton Oliver, former All Black captain; Esther Jessop QSM, Ngaitai iwi, Torere marae; Kerry Fox, New Zealand actor; George Ferguson, former British High Commissioner to New Zealand; the Reverend Michael Boag, Succentor, St George’s Chapel, Windsor; and Belinda Allen, Cantabrian.

At the end of the service the Manawa Wera was performed by the Ngati Ranana choir.

The service was sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played during the service by Robert Quinney, Sub Organist, and before the service by James McVinnie Assistant Organist.

See also:

The Order of Service (PDF 357 KB)

The Address given by His Excellency Derek Leask

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The work can be tough, but even the cold and rain don’t bother me as I enjoy it so much. I love every day that I spend at the Abbey – just being here makes me smile.


Tim - Gardener

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