The surprising way Archbishop Justin Welby comforted the queen’s mourners
Some of those waiting in line to view the queen’s coffin received pizza from the Rev. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury
Mourners waiting in the long line to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall were in for a surprise Tuesday when they received pizza from one of Great Britain’s most notable religious leaders.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rev. Justin Welby, who is the senior bishop in the Church of England, reportedly sent the food in order to help the crowds stay warm and nourished as they made their way through the line.
“The head of the queue is directly outside Lambeth Palace, the official office and residence of the Archbishop,” Premier Christian News reported.
By waiting in the line, mourners get the opportunity to walk past the queen as she lies in state before her funeral on Monday. As of Thursday morning, the line was estimated to be around four miles long, according to NBC News.
The Rev. Welby and other Church of England leaders have also stopped and visited with people in the line, Premier Christian News reported.
On Tuesday, the Rev. Stephen Cottrell, who is the archbishop of York, tweeted a picture of himself with a group of women at the front of the line.
“These amazing ladies are numbers one, two and three in the queue to pay their last respects to our late Majesty the Queen. I chatted with them this evening and we sang the first verse of Praise my soul the King of heaven. Wonderful!,” he said.
In addition to sending pizza to the crowds outside his office, the Rev. Welby played a formal role in the process of moving the queen’s coffin to Westminster Hall, according to The New York Times. He co-led a short service that honored Queen Elizabeth II at the start of the lying-in-state period.
“The service ended with a blessing by Archbishop Welby. Westminster Hall opened for the public to pay their respects later that afternoon,” the Church Times reported.