The Servant Queen
Over the weekend of 11th and 12th June, we will be celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday, along with other churches around the country.
In Stockton and Priors Marston there will be exhibitions of village life over the past 90 years and Priors Hardwick is having a special service of Evensong, followed by strawberries and sparkling wine on the green (please see elsewhere in the magazine for details).
The Queen is a remarkable woman and two things in particular stand out about her reign: her constant sense of duty and her devotion to God. She is Supreme Governor of the Church of England, attends church weekly and prays daily. In her Christmas broadcast in 2002 she acknowledged how much she relied on her faith to guide her through the good times and the bad: “Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings and to put my trust in God… I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.” She sees Jesus as “an inspiration”, a “role model” and an “anchor” in her life.
From her coronation, when every element of the service demonstrated her commitment to serve her people as a servant of God, to today when she still works 40 hours a week – she has followed the example of Jesus to live a life of service and sacrifice.
Queen Elizabeth is an inspiration, generous-hearted, respectful and wise. She is concerned for the lonely, the poor, the welfare of children and the armed forces. She stresses the importance of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation, which lies at the heart of the Christian faith. She embraces people of all faiths: she values everyone. She knows what it means to love our neighbour. She values family life. She has stoically faced challenges and tragedies, drawing strength from her faith. Her trust in Jesus shapes everything she is and does. She is an example and inspiration for us all.
A wonderful souvenir book has been produced as a tribute to the Queen on her 90th birthday. If you pop into church, please help yourself to one.