Church in Lewes ordered to remove book of condolences for Duke of Edinburgh

People in Lewes were able to leave tributes to Prince Philip in a book of condolences displayed at a church – until it was ordered to remove it.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 5:33 pm
The book of condolences was only displayed for a short period of time

St Thomas à Becket in Cliffe High Street, Lewes had displayed a framed portrait of the Prince, a remembrance candle, a floral tribute and smouldering incense after hearing the sad news on Friday.

On the advice of church officials at the time, it also put out a book of condolences – but churches were later instructed to remove such books due to ongoing covid restrictions.

Trevor Butler, churchwarden at the Cliffe parish church, said: “Within the first few hours of putting our book out, we had received some very fitting tributes to the Prince.

“It was therefore most regrettable that, some time later, we were told to remove the book because of covid fears.

“Apparently it was felt that someone might breath the virus onto the paper and then someone else could contract covid from the pages.”

The church has apologised to anyone who made a contribution in the now-removed book and is directing people to the Buckingham Palace webstie which has an online condolences page – find it here.