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18 April 2021: Prince Philip storyComputer image of a naval ship

This afternoon our Rector led a communion service via Zoom for the Sunday Special congregation. The theme was “welcoming Jesus”. What would you do, she asked, if you knew Jesus was to come to your home? (The purist might remark that He is always there.)

She recounted a story she had heard about the late Prince Philip.

Apparently some Royal Navy engineers were told that they were to be visited by a Very Important Person on a particular morning. They weren’t told who it would be.

They spent some time getting their wardroom all spic and span, with everything polished. On the morning they got out their best linen, crockery and cutlery, got a fine china teapot ready and heated up the kettle.

The VIP turned out to be Prince Philip. The engineers welcomed him and offered him a cup of tea.

He asked whether they had anything stronger. Somewhat embarrassed, they explained that according to the ship’s regulations the beer store was locked until 11 o’clock and only the Master-at-Arms had the key. (The Master-at-Arms was accompanying Prince Philip. )

“Your’e not telling me,” said the Duke, “that a group of Royal Navy engineers can’t get into a locked drinks cupboard. We’ll turn our backs while you sort things out.”

Prince Philip and all the top brass and dignitaries with him turned their backs. Lo and behold, somehow the engineers opened the drinks cupboard and shared out cans of beer. They and their important visitors then enjoyed a convivial morning.

The point is, I guess, that if Jesus does visit your home what happens may not be what you expect.