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World News

The rules churches and faith groups must follow during national mourning

by Sophie Drew

The Government and Church of England have published guidance that churches and faith groups are advised to follow in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. 

The Church of England - of which the monarch was head during her reign - has published a list of prayers and liturgical texts.

The King's Printer, Cambridge University Press, has also published templates for commemorative services, many of which are likely to be used in Anglican churches across Britain on Sunday, 11th September. 

Church leaders have been advised to regularly consult lists of national and regional events, to provide faith support to those mourning to loss of the Monarch, minister to those in need of prayer and represent the Church of England.

Those organising events for themselves are encouraged to join with local dignitaries, schools, other places of worship, twinned towns or volunteer bodies, such as the cubs, scouts and guides groups. 

Some places of worship have welcomed floral tributes and cards, becoming a hub for people outside London looking to pay their respects. However, the government has urged churches to seek the permission of their local councils to ensure the displays can be removed at the appropriate time. 

They're also encouraging churches to set up areas where people may light candles and pray - a photo of the Queen atop a table with a white tablecloth is the advised course of action. 

Whilst national books of condolence are available online, churches may wish to create a physical book of their own. 

Should they choose this option, faith groups are urged to take parking, traffic congestion and toilets into consideration, as there may be large influx of visitors wishing to pay their respects. 

Larger churches and cathedrals may even need to coordinate with their local police force and counter terrorism security advisor. 

Venues baring a flagpole may wish to lower their flags to half mast - further guidance will be issued by the Royal Household and the Ministry of Defence following the Accession. 

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