Chaplains from the Diocese of Norwich are offering support and a listening ear to the crowds gathered at Sandringham estate to lay flowers for Her Late Majesty The Queen.
This pastoral offer of comfort has been well received by people who have travelled from across Norfolk and further to spend time at Sandringham.
A chaplaincy rota to support visitors to Sandringham has been set up since the news broke that the Queen had died.
Revd Veronica Wilson is the vicar at Heacham, near the estate, and was on the chaplaincy rota the day that the new Prince and Princess of Wales visited Sandringham. Revd Veronica said;
“I’ve had some brilliant conversations with people as well as an outpouring of grief from those coming to lay flowers. The death of the Queen seems to have keyed into other personal griefs. I’ve also had lots of conversations about the time people met the Queen and saw the Queen, so I’ve heard fabulous stories too.”
The visibility of chaplains at Sandringham has been echoed in London, where people from different faiths, beliefs and denominations are offering support and comfort to the thousands of people queuing to see Her Late Majesty The Queen Lying-in State at Westminster Hall.
Revd Veronica says it shows how essential chaplaincy work is.
“To have the visual presence of the Church here, anywhere, it’s really important to know there is someone they can talk to. And when I wasn’t talking to anyone, I can just stand here and pray quietly.”
On Thursday 15 September, William, the new Prince of Wales and Kate, the new Princess of Wales, visited Sandringham to look at the flowers and to meet local people. They stayed for around 45 minutes.
Revd Veronica said:
“There was a real buzz of excitement that they had included Norfolk in their schedule. It’s so nice to keep Norfolk and Sandringham in the news, a place the Queen loved and enjoyed.”
The Sandringham estate will be closed on Monday 19 September, the day of the Queen’s funeral. If you do wish to visit to lay flowers, then please see the guidance here: Sandringham (sandringhamestate.co.uk)