Free Presbyterian minister confirms he was invited to funeral of Queen Elizabeth, but did not attend
A FREE Presbyterian minister has confirmed he was invited to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, but did not attend.
Rev Ian Brown wrote on social media that he "was not present" at the service in London on Monday.
The name of the minister, who leads Rev Ian Paisley’s former church The Martyr’s Memorial in east Belfast, was included in the order of service published by Buckingham Palace on Sunday night.
Clerics from the north's main churches, including Catholic Primate Eamon Martin, Presbyterian Moderator Rev John Kirkpatrick, Church of Ireland Primate John McDowell and Methodist President Rev David Nixon, were among more than 2,000 people who attended the funeral service in Westminster Abbey.
There was surprise when it emerged that Rev Brown's name was included on the order of service given that the Free Presbyterian Church is a very small denomination and there were no representatives of other Protestant denominations.
Following speculation about why he did not attend despite his name being listed, Rev Brown wrote on Facebook: "Some have noticed my name on the Order of Service as an attendee at the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and have contacted me to ascertain whether or not I was present as they subsequently failed to see me in the audience.
"The fact is: I was not present."
However, he gave no explanation about why he did not attend.
"Intriguingly, last Sunday afternoon when I obtained confirmation of my invitation to the State funeral, I was preparing the fourth sermon in a recent series on the death of Her Majesty Elizabeth II to deliver it in the pulpit of Martyrs Memorial FPC that evening - ‘From Our Queen’s Own Lips’," he added.