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Grafton unites in honour of HRH Prince Philip

Emma Pritchard

A small gathering of Clarence Valley residents congregated beneath the majestic arches of the Grafton Christ Church Cathedral on the evening of April 10, and united in grief, love and respect with thousands of other mourners throughout Australia, and across the world, as they paid tribute to His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on April 9.

He was 99 years old.

In a special service of thanksgiving in honour of a man who proudly and selflessly dedicated his life to the service of others, including the Commonwealth of Australia, the Very Reverend Dr Greg Jenks, Dean of Grafton graciously thanked the congregation for their attendance “at very short notice”, and said the gathering allowed the Clarence Valley community to unite and give thanks for the life of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, his steadfast devotion to Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II, their family, and his genuine affiliation, support and dedication to a country on the other side of the world, which he visited 21 times.  

Dr Jenks said he opted to have a simple service at the Grafton Christ Church Cathedral at the earliest opportunity after the news of Prince Philip’s passing was released.

“We could have waited until sometime during the coming week as many bigger Cathedrals around the country are doing, but I thought it was important that we responded locally with the least delay,” he said.

At the request of UK authorities, Anglican Cathedrals around the world are using the same service, readings and hymns chosen by the Church of England.

The service was from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and was a Solemn Evensong.

Clarence Valley Council Mayor Jim Simmons and his wife were among the congregation while Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, sent their respective apologies.

The service can be viewed online at