THE people of Bolton remembered Prince Phillip tonight in a moving memorial service which saw councillors, officials and some members of the public in attendance, to remember the life of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Taking place at Bolton Parish Church, Prince Phillip's life was remembered, as well as the impact that he had on Bolton, Britain and world affairs.

The ceremony consisted of prayers, performances from a small, socially-distant choir, and a tribute from the Vicar of Bolton, in which he paid tribute to his character, thoughts and beliefs.

The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Linda Thomas led a prayer which was followed by a performance from the choir, whose angelic voices echoing through the church. Meanwhile, the Vicar of Bolton, Rev Canon Dr Chris Bracegirdle, paid tribute to Philip.

He spoke of his "amazing contributions" to the nation over almost a century - living through the terms of 20 Prime Ministers.

He said: "Whence Prince Phillip was just a little short of three weeks old, this church was celebrating its 50th anniversary of consecration.

This year, it will be the 150th anniversary. So much has happened in the almost 100 years of the prince's life.

"He will be remembered for his unswerving public service and for bringing together diverse communities."

Dr Bracegirdle stressed the importance of remembering that, while we all watched Prince Phillip throughout his long and fulfilling life, that "only a select few would have been lucky enough to know the real him".

Due to coronavirus restrictions, only around 80 people were able to attend in person, while hundreds more listened on the radio and on a Microsoft Teams link provided by Bolton Council.

Flags on council buildings will remain at half-mast until the morning after the funeral in tribute to Prince Phillip.

Due to Covid restrictions, people are asked not to lay flowers in public but to instead consider a donation to The National Emergencies Trust.

Last Saturday, the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Linda Thomas, laid a memorial wreath on behalf of the borough, adding: "I know that my sadness will be shared across Bolton."

At 3pm tomorrow, Saturday April 17, there will be a national one-minute silence.

In line with national protocol, there will be no public observation of the silence and no public service on Victoria Square in Bolton.