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Surely Charles is King for such a time as this’: Bishop of Oxford says new King will unite all

by Sophie Drew
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The Bishop of Oxford says the coronation service is a message of hope in a difficult time, and that King Charles is “made for such a time as this,” as the monarch ascends the throne in Westminster Abbey.

In a sermon, which echoed the famous words from the book of Esther, delivered just hours before the coronation, Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft  told congregants at Christ Church in Oxford that the coronation will “bind us together” alleviating the “sharp divisions” of the last decade.

He said: “The service will be a testimony to a mature, multicultural, diverse United Kingdom, a unique moment in our history.

“Different faith leaders and cultures will play their part as the moniker seeks to bind us together in humility, and generous inclusion.

“The different nations of these islands will each play that part countering the forces of separation and sharp division, which have marked this last decade.

“The whole nation is invited to the party. Not only tomorrow, but in local celebrations, which will follow in towns and villages across our county and beyond.”

The sentiment has not been echoed by all. As the world looks to Westminster Abbey, protestors have gathered near Trafalgar Square.

Anti-monarchist group Republic say they have already see arrests prior to the service.

They’re encouraging people to shout “not my king” as King Charles III passes in the gold state coach.

Beyond the UK borders, senior Jamaican minister Marlene Malahoo Forte told Sky News the coronation has accelerated the nation’s plans to become a republic.

Bishop Steven went on to tell the churchgoers Queen Camilla would be King Charles’ “strength and stay” – language previously used by the late Queen Elizabeth II to describe her husband, Prince Philip.

Bishop Steven - who openly campaigns on a number of social issues, including online safety, and is in favour of allowing same-sex marriage within the Church of England – described Charles’ ascension a “rich blessing to our nation, our Commonwealth and our world,” for which the monarch has prepared “all his life”.

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