Norfolk churches celebrate our servant Queen
People across Britain and the Commonwealth have been celebrating the life and service of the longest-serving British monarch – Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her 90th birthday and churches and organizations across Norfolk will be paying their own tributes this weekend (June 11 and 12).
A national service of thanksgiving will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday June 10; the traditional trooping the colour ceremony to mark the Queen’s official birthday on Horse Guards Parade will take place on Saturday June 11; and a massive street party for 10,000 people will take place on The Mall on Sunday June 12.
A special book has also been brought out to commemorate the Queen’s life, which has been devoted to her people, called The Servant Queen - and the King she serves.
The beautifully illustrated short book uses the Queen’s own words to draw out the central role in her life of her trust in Jesus Christ.
In her 2014 Christmas broadcast, the Queen said: “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role-model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.”
The book tells the story of a remarkable woman who became Queen at the age of 25 in February 1952 following the death of her father King George VI. She was crowned in June 1953 at Westminster Abbey.
During her 63 years on the throne she has been adviser and confidante to 12 British Prime Ministers, she is the most famous woman in the world and says that she prays every day.
Her strong faith in Christ does not lead her to exclude people of other faiths but rather to embrace them. to accord them the same respect and dignity she does to those who share her beliefs.
So what is the secret to the Queen’s extraordinary contribution to the nation and the Commonweath?
In 2002 she answered the question herself, saying: “I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me 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.”
Copies of The Servant Queen and the King She Serves are available in packs of 10 at £1 a copy (plus p&p). Visit www.hopetogether.org.uk/thequeen
200 free copies will be given out during the Celebrate Norfolk weekend thanks to the generous support of Good News for Norwich & Norfolk.
Click here to find out more about the free Celebrate volunteers picnic to mark the Queen’s birthday at the Catholic Cathedral in Norwich.
Click here to find about other events which churches are staging this weekend to mark the royal occasion.