A BOOK of condolence has been opened in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at St Columba's Parish Church in Largs.

The church will be open from 11am until 5pm during the extended period of mourning, giving the opportunity for townspeople to gather and reflect and pay tribute to the monarch.

Reverend Dr Graham McWilliams, of St Columba's, said: "We will keep the church open for the next few weeks, or as long as we feel necessary.

"It will be a common book of condolence for the whole of Largs to come and sign, for people with faith and people who have no faith.

"It is open to all who want to come for quietness and contemplation and reflect in their own way on the life of the Queen."

Looking back at The Queen's incredible life, Rev McWilliams said: "If you are under 80 then the Queen has been a constant in your life and that is really a huge thing.

"It is going to be a grief-stricken community and country for some time to come.

"My overwhelming thought of the Queen was of her radiance, how she was always smiling.

"She was much more than just a figurehead - she was a reliable presence and whenever the world or even her personal family were going through turmoil she was there to provide stability and reassure people that we would get through whatever problems lay ahead.

"She had a strong Christian faith which was prominent, but she was never forceful with it.

"She was also filled with warmth and compassion and didn't put a facade on. She approached every situation with grace and dignity."

Harbouring loss is always a difficult situation and the clergyman says the loss of our monarch will bring back memories of lost loved ones for many local people.

He said: "We can always prepare ourselves as we see death every day, but until it happens we are never fully ready for it.

"Anybody can come to the church and if they need assistance they can request it.

"The country will now change as the Queen has had such an influence and presence on our nation for the past 70 years, and for King Charles III it will take time to understand the role and determine what kind of monarch he wishes to be."

Rev McWilliams says there is also a plan for a book of condolences in Fairlie Parish Church.