4:25 PM September 9, 2022
Young and old gathered in a coastal village to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II.
Prayers were said at Hemsby Church for the Queen this morning.
Prayers were followed by church bells being rung 96 times at midday to mark the Queen’s service to the country.
At the sound of the bells, dozens of children from the village’s primary school gathered in front of the church to pay their respects.
Director Sian Harmer said: “They came to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II.
“It’s really, really important that our fifth and sixth year kids pay homage to them.
“The rest of the children, the younger ones, also listen to the bells.
“Each class had an age-appropriate assembly this morning with the teachers responding sensitively to any questions the children might have had.”
Ms Harmer said all the children were aware of the importance of the occasion and what it means for the country.
She said: “I think they do because of the celebrations we had around the jubilee, certainly the older kids were very, very aware.
“There was a dark vibe.”
Praising the Queen, Father Anthony Long said during the service: “We give thanks for her long life.
“She was the glue that held this country together.
“She was Elizabeth the Great.”
Before the service, the Reverend David Mills, who also attended, praised the Queen saying her promise to God of duty and service had “faithfully been made”.
Church keeper Maureen Powles, 81, was one of more than 20 people who attended the service at St Mary the Virgin Church.
She said: “The Queen meant a lot to me. She was a wonderful ruler and she really had to rock our village and our world and she was a wonderful mother.
“People at Hemsby are very upset about that. She’s been a wonderful queen.”
The prayers took place during a regular church service, with a special service planned for a later date to remember the Queen.
Hemsby Church, near Great Yarmouth, dates from the 14th century.