The Queen speaks of her faith and inspiration
The Queen spoke of her own Christian faith and the strength she draws from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things, in her traditional Christmas broadcast yesterday.
The Queen, aged 90, missed attending a Christmas morning service at St Mary Magdalene at Sandringham in West Norfolk for the first time since she moved the royal Christmas celebration to Norfolk almost 30 years ago, due to a heavy cold.
In her broadcast on the theme of inspiration, the Queen said: “To be inspirational you don't have to save lives or win medals. I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special.
“They are an inspiration to those who know them, and their lives frequently embody a truth expressed by Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She once said, ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.’
“When people face a challenge they sometimes talk about taking a deep breath to find courage or strength. In fact, the word 'inspire' literally means 'to breathe in'. But even with the inspiration of others, it’s understandable that we sometimes think the world's problems are so big that we can do little to help. On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine,” said the Queen.
“At Christmas, our attention is drawn to the birth of a baby some two thousand years ago. It was the humblest of beginnings, and his parents, Joseph and Mary, did not think they were important.
“Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life, and never travelled far. He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. And yet, billions of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe.
The message of Christmas reminds us that inspiration is a gift to be given as well as received, and that love begins small but always grows.”
You can read the full text of the speech at www.royal.uk
A special book was brought out this year to commemorate the Queen’s life and 90th birthday, called The Servant Queen - and the King she serves.
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