On Sunday, I signed our local book of condolence at Ilford Library on behalf of the many Ilford South constituents who are deeply saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

As the country mourns, I was able to share my personal recollections of Her Majesty and the effect she has had on the people of Ilford South on her many visits during her reign.

My thoughts are with the Royal Family.

I joined the Congregation of St. Mary’s, Ilford, this morning to read the lesson today, as Sunday services across the nation marked the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and the accession of King Charles III.

As the Sovereign is head of the Church of England, and representing a community in Ilford where so many have faith as part of their lives on a daily basis, I thought it important to recognise that and take part, a pleasure to do so with so many members of the congregation who have known me since I was a young child here in Ilford.

A reading from the Book of Lamentations

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.

It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

For the Lord will not reject for ever.

Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.

I was honoured to be invited and to attend a service in rememberance of our late Queen Elizabeth II at the Singh Saba London East Gurdwara this evening. It was great to meet some of the senior committee of the Gurdwara and respected representatives of the local Sikh community.