Haslemere community comes together for Queen’s funeral

By Tom White  
Thursday 22nd September 2022 6:00 am
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The big screen at Grayswood Village Club

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Community screenings of the Queen’s funeral were held across the Haslemere area on Monday to bring people together and provide a shared experience.

The main community screenings were held at St Stephen’s Church in Shottermill, the Lion’s Den Cafe in Wey Hill and Grayswood Village Club.

St Stephen’s church warden Maura Howard said: “There was anecdotal conversation, sharing the memories.

“The underlying thing was gratitude for her service – 70 years is amazing.”

St Stephen’s church warden Peter Soar added: “There was a lot of quiet reflection.”

St Stephen’s Church volunteer Fiona Short said: “It’s great that St Stephen’s has put this on for the community.

“The Queen showed tremendous dedication and service to others with her constancy, her faithfulness and her ability to deal with all the bumps along the way. She faced life.

“She was a tremendous example to us all. There’s this big sense of unity.”

The Lion’s Den Cafe joint-owner Andy Godley, who runs the business with his wife Louise, said: “We’ve done it for the community – there were lots of people here who perhaps would have been on their own.

“We put on complimentary tea, sandwiches and scones – we were not here to make a few quid.

“It’s a very historic day and if we can play a little part in that history, great.”

The screening at Grayswood Village Club was organised in partnership with All Saints Church in Grayswood.

Reverend Fiona Gwynn said: “It was sparked by somebody asking me whether I knew of anywhere that was showing it for people who were on their own.

“I didn’t at that time, so I thought ‘okay, let’s provide it’.

“It’s a really historic day. I think we do this sort of ceremony so wonderfully as a country. It’s so moving, the sheer spectacle of it.

“As a clergy I swore my allegiance to the Queen when I was ordained.

“Her personal faith is such an example – and her acknowledgement that life wasn’t always easy – but she always relied on God.”

Grayswood Village Club bookings secretary Angela Wheeler said: “We were thinking about people who would be stuck at home on their own. We invited people to come along to share a cup of coffee, a piece of cake and to sit through the service together.

“The Queen has always been a figure in my life and someone I’ve respected, not just for what she’s done as the Queen, but also as a Christian, and the example she’s set for so many people in the UK and the world. I’m sure millions will be watching all over the world because of what she meant to them.”

The White Horse and the Georgian Coppa Club also showed the Queen’s funeral on Monday.

The White Horse general manager Jon Wilkinson said: “It’s the right thing to do – she was our Queen.”

The Georgian Coppa Club general manager David Herranz Fuentes said: “It’s an historic day.

“We wanted to respect Her Majesty and facilitated a room with a TV for people who wished to watch the funeral.”

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