A Tribute To Queen Elizabeth II
Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II we wanted to add our tribute to the incredible life of service and faith that she lived. As we gave her our thanks earlier this year during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, we turn our thanks to God for the gift of such a gracious monarch and pray she may rest in peace and rise in glory.
So many words are being shared around the world to honour Her Majesty’s life, it seems there is nothing original left to add, yet we add our gratitude and utmost respect for how she spent her life in service. Remembering too that her service was not only for the United Kingdom, it was not only for those from privilege, or for those who shared her point of view. She served all, regardless of race, origin or story, and we grieve with our brothers and sisters across her Realms and the Commonwealth nations, and all those touched by her life.
We celebrate her example of unity across difference, her diligence in reconciliation and forgiveness, and her steadfastness and discretion.
If you are local to Barking and wish to add your gratitude for Her Majesty’s life, we have set up a Place of Remembrance at the Rivergate Centre, Minter Road, where a book of condolence will be open until the day after her funeral and flowers can be laid outside. If you’re unable to make it in person, you can sign the online book of condolence. No matter your relationship or view of the monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II stepped into the biggest role in the western world. She ruled with grace and her loss will be felt worldwide.
Further tributes are included below, including The Archbishops of Canterbury and York who have led tributes from Bishops of the Church of England.
Watch out on our socials for any more info about local events/news about commemorating the longest standing monarch the United Kingdom has ever seen. In the meantime, there is a service this evening at St. Paul’s Cathedral at 6pm, which will also be televised on BBC 1.
Tributes From Within Church OF England
Remembering the Queen, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “It is with profound sadness that I join the nation, the Commonwealth and the world in mourning the death of Her Late Majesty The Queen. My prayers are with The King and the Royal Family. May God draw near them and comfort them in the days, weeks and months ahead.
“As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose steadfast loyalty, service and humility has helped us make sense of who we are through decades of extraordinary change in our world, nation and society.
“As deep as our grief runs, even deeper is our gratitude for Her Late Majesty’s extraordinary dedication to the United Kingdom, her Realms and the Commonwealth. Through times of war and hardship, through seasons of upheaval and change, and through moments of joy and celebration, we have been sustained by Her Late Majesty’s faith in what and who we are called to be.
“In the darkest days of the Coronavirus pandemic, The Late Queen spoke powerfully of the light that no darkness can overcome. As she had done before, she reminded us of a deep truth about ourselves – we are a people of hope who care for one another. Even as The Late Queen mourned the loss of her beloved husband, Prince Philip, we saw once again evidence of her courage, resilience and instinct for putting the needs of others first – all signs of a deeply rooted Christian faith.
“As we sustain one another in the face of this challenge, our shared grieving will also be a work of shared reimagining. I pray that we commence this journey with a sense of Her Late Majesty’s faith and confidence in the future.
“As a faithful Christian disciple, and also Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she lived out her faith every day of her life. Her trust in God and profound love for God was foundational in how she led her life – hour by hour, day by day.
“In The Late Queen’s life, we saw what it means to receive the gift of life we have been given by God and – through patient, humble, selfless service – share it as a gift to others.
“Her Late Majesty found great joy and fulfilment in the service of her people and her God, “whose service is perfect freedom” (BCP). For giving her whole life to us, and allowing her life of service to be an instrument of God’s peace among us, we owe her a debt of gratitude beyond measure.
“The Late Queen leaves behind a truly extraordinary legacy: one that is found in almost every corner of our national life, as well as the lives of so many nations around the world, and especially in the Commonwealth.
“It was my great privilege to meet Her Late Majesty on many occasions. Her clarity of thinking, capacity for careful listening, inquiring mind, humour, remarkable memory and extraordinary kindness invariably left me conscious of the blessing that she has been to us all.
“In my prayers at this time I also give thanks for the marriage of The Late Queen and His Late Royal Highness Prince Philip. Theirs was an inspirational example of Christian marriage – rooted in friendship, nourished by shared faith, and turned outwards in service to others.
“May Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace and rise in glory.”
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell said: “I join with many throughout our country and beyond as we mourn the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Throughout her long reign, and in all the confusions and challenges of a changing world, Her Majesty has been a constant, faithful presence.
“In 2014, Her Majesty remarked, “Christ’s example has taught me to seek, to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.”
The Queen’s gift to engage with everyone whom she met and the ability to make them feel at ease was a remarkable skill and one which showed a deep connection to the people she served and a desire to live out Jesus’ teaching. On the occasions I had the pleasure of meeting Her Majesty, I can testify to the warmth and joy she brought to every occasion. But most of all, it was the resolute reality of her faith that struck me powerfully.
“In Her Majesty’s first Christmas broadcast, ahead of her Coronation she asked the nation, whatever their religion, to pray that God would give her wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promise she would be making and to faithfully serve God and us all the days of her life.
“That is most definitely a prayer that has been answered. Her service to our nation and Commonwealth has been exemplified by her devotion to her duty, which has always been offered with joy. Underpinning this has been her deep faith in God and in her we have witnessed God’s faithfulness at work.
“Her Majesty leaves a remarkable legacy which not only lives on in this country, but stretches across the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. Her desire to bring people together and use her role to build up communities and wider society has been a cornerstone of her reign.
“Do join me in praying for members of the Royal Family over the coming weeks as the God who sustained Her Majesty throughout her life, guides them and brings them comfort. Above all, we pray also for our new King in the responsibilities that now rest upon him.
“The Queen was not shy in speaking of her faith and the hope and strength she found in Jesus Christ. At the heart of the good news of God is that through the death and resurrection of his son Jesus, the promise of new and eternal life is offered to us all. This belief, this hope, sustained our Queen and as she rejoices in that promise fulfilled so we too can draw comfort and hope from it.
“Many of us will struggle to imagine the life of our nation without the Queen. Her constancy and faithfulness has been deeply reassuring in a world that has changed so much. We give thanks for the Queen’s example, devotion and huge achievements. She found stability, perseverance and confidence in Jesus Christ who was the source of her hope and peace. May that also be true for each of us and for our nation; and may our dearly departed Queen rest in peace and rise in glory.”
The Bishop of Chelmsford, Guli Francis-Dehqani, said: “My thoughts and prayers, and those of everyone in the Diocese of Chelmsford, are with the Royal Family, our nation and commonwealth.
“At this time of great sadness, we remember with profound gratitude Her Majesty the Queen’s contribution as monarch. Her reign included times of great joy and celebration but also many challenges. It has been a time of unprecedented change for this nation and the world but throughout, Her Majesty’s faith in God and extraordinary sense of duty helped to guide her.
“As we mourn Her Majesty’s death, we give thanks to God for her life, her faith and her exceptional devotion to her duty as monarch.
“Many across our Diocese will want to pay their own personal tributes and we will provide further details about how people can do this shortly.”
The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, said: “To live in the service of others is not a popular thought in our society today. However, to serve others is one of the greatest things in life. It is precious and almost as rare. And like all precious things, it is costly. Service requires not so much physical strength as a strength of character. Her Majesty The Queen is an extraordinary example of a life lived in the service of others.
“Under the intense and relentless scrutiny of ever vigilant media, she has demonstrated a consistency of character, a commitment to service, a concern for others, and a clear deep Christian faith. She is after all known for many other things, for being head of state, mother, grandmother, formidable rider, wife of the Prince Philip, and a senior citizen who still worked over 40 hours a week.
“Even on her 21st birthday, she spoke to the Commonwealth and said, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be short or long, shall be devoted to the service and the service of our great family, to which we all belong.” Her Majesty The Queen has exemplified this life of service in the dedication with which she has served this country over the whole of her lifetime. And she has served this country as a queen longer than any other monarch in history and has done so with utter dedication.
“Her Majesty was a truly remarkable person, with a remarkable Christian faith, about which she had increasingly been able to speak in recent years. In 1952, in her first Christian broadcast, looking forward to the coronation, she said this, “I want to ask you all, whatever your religion may be, to pray for me that on that day- to pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making and that I may faithfully serve Him and you all the days of my life.”
“She was a woman of faith. In her 2014 Christian broadcast, the queen described Jesus Christ as ‘an anchor in my life and a role model’. In a nation where faith is often contended and sometimes despised, she made no excuse for her own faith. And she did not hide it. On the contrary, it was the engine of her devotion to service.
“In an age that is, on one hand, increasingly secular, and on the other, fraught by religious conflicts, her approach was winsomely inclusive. She was the head of the Church yet in her speeches, she never tells anyone to go to church. Rather, she pointed to Jesus and how he expanded her capacity to love people with different beliefs. Overall, her approach has been testimonial, not argumentative. She told the world about the inspiration that Jesus had been for her in her own life and left others to decide if they were interested in being inspired themselves.
“And maybe her Majesty’s other rock was the Prince Philip, whom she described as her constant strength and guide. The two enjoyed the longest marriage in the history of the Commonwealth. The queen avowed her love and gratitude for Philip in 1997, in her golden wedding speech, saying, “He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments. He has quite simply been my strength and my stay all these years. And I and his whole family, and this and many other countries owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know.”
“Wonderfully, Her Majesty The Queen’s example to the world has not been a dour, dutiful drudge, but of a woman who seemed to enjoy life – riding and horses and dogs and family. She didn’t have to invite a different Christian minister every weekend of her six-week Balmoral holiday to spend time with her family, but she did. She didn’t have to drive herself to the Sunday service in church on the Sandringham Estate when she was there, but she often did. She didn’t have to find out the names of the Sunday school prize winners and choose and present their prizes, but she did.
“A life lived in the service of others is a rare jewel. It is a jewel that she wore as a crown. We owe her much and Her Majesty will be greatly missed. My prayers are with the royal family at this time, and I pray that they may know God’s comfort and peace.”
Other tributes can be read here.