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UK News

Duke of Cambridge set to join CofE online church service this weekend

by Premier Journalist

The Church of England has announced that the Duke of Cambridge will join its weekly online worship service to mark the end of Mental Health Awareness Week. 

Prince William will seek to start a conversation around the issue of mental health and encourage people to reach out and get help when they need it. 

The service will be led by the Revd Professor Gina Radford, a former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England and a vicar in Devon, and will include a set of prayers for all those who struggle with their mental health. She will say in her sermon that Mental Health Awareness Week has taken on a "particular significance" this year as more people struggle with their emotional health in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“For some people of faith this is particularly challenging,” she'll say. “Surely, we might ask, my faith should get me through? But we need to face the reality that we are human – we are body, mind and spirit. We are all susceptible to mental ill-health, just as we are to physical ill-health.”

Others involved in the special service will include Jenny Flannagan, from the charity Youthscape and Revd Peterson Feital, who works with the Creative Industries in the Diocese of London and is the founder of The Haven + London. Ms Flannagan will look at the impact Covid-19 has had on the mental health of young people. 

"Lots of young people are finding their anxiety is increasing, not knowing what is going to happen in the future. Lots of them are stuck in really difficult family situations, some of them are dealing with grief,” she will say.

“I pray for all the young people that I work with that we will have the right words to help them to find the next step forward, to seed hope in their imaginations that there is a way forward, that there are other ways that they can manage some of these difficulties and to know that they are not alone.”

In addition to a number of pre-recorded hymns, Sunday's worship is also set to feature the popular "UK Blessing" praise video, which was pulled together by Rev Tim Hughes. 

The CofE says thousands of users attend its streamed weekly services. A recent survey on Facebook and YouTube found that around 80% of people found the service was "very or extremely helpful" in bringing them closer to God or supporting their faith.

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